David vs Goliath: Sustainable Farmer/Soil Scientist Against Big Ag Money in Iowa Race for Secretary of Agriculture

“Iowa is the Corn State, and its about time that farmers quit growing Corn and start raising Cain.”–Augie

Francis, Susan and Rodney-- Sustainable Dairy Farmers, Raw Milk Lovers and with your help can be Iowa's Secretary of Agriculture

UPDATE: I was informed last night that an anonymous donor to the Francis Thicke campaign from Fairfield, Iowa will MATCH every new dollar donated UP TO $25,000 to pay for the beautiful billboards to be erected on Iowa highways and the boss TV commercials.

Take a look at Francis Thicke’s bio and the one-minute video below. Then you too will go to the DONATE page and put your money where your mouth is. For 20 bucks you will receive his new book:  ‘A New Vision for Iowa Food and Agriculture: Sustainable Agriculture for the 21st Century’. (which I am sure applies to all states as well). Best of all, just go to the fabulous http://www.thickeforagriculture.com and see all the commercials.

Here is the quote he sent me and four others in a personal note:

“Iowa has one of the most restrictive laws against raw milk in the nation.  No raw milk sales are allowed, even on the farm.   If I am elected, I intend to work with the legislature to try to get a bill passed to allow raw milk sales to consumers who come to a farm to buy the milk. If we could get that passed, it would be a big step forward.” Francis Thicke, Candidate for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture

Raw milk and family farm food freedom (4-F) activists in Iowa, surrounding states and all over America should help get the word out and donate something if you can. (For $20, you get Thicke’s book!) Whether you post this on Facebook, Twitter or another networks—or donate—you will have some ownership in this exciting race and enjoy it even more sitting back to watch it through Election Day!

Unfortunately, too many real foodies and raw milk drinkers will say this is Iowa—it has nothing to do with me. They are too busy trading recipes or discussing ways to eat to reduce climate change. One poster responded to this announcement with “where can I get coddled milk for my pancakes?”– Augie


A one-minute video could change the face of agriculture in the U.S. It could start a chain reaction that hits critical mass very shortly.  The race is in dead heat.  So Little David could bring the Goliath down.

This refers to one of the most important races of the year. He is actually a national candidate but he is an Iowa candidate for Secretary of Agriculture. Not just because Iowa is a so-called bellwether state, but because the state of small and medium-sized farmers and food freedom folks have a lot riding on this all over the U.S.  This is the man for people who love farm and food freedom to rally behind, and all those in the U.S. and surrounding states should make as much noise for his election. His name is Francis Thicke, a sustainable farmer. Iowa is the Corn State, and its about time that they quit growing corn and start raising Cain.

I will do my part by sending out a US Alert through the ARMi systems. (Join up) What will you do?

Kathryne Pirtle, a well-known farm and food freedom advocate, pro musician and health educator interviewed Thicke last week and brought this to my attention today by phone.

Pirtle said “I have been talking to Francis Thicke, a sustainable farmer in Iowa who is running for Secretary of Agriculture in Iowa. With Monsanto and big agribusiness pouring piles of money to plant candidates in key positions across our country–we need your help.”

A fresh story published this evening is from Jeff Smith at the Huffington Post that just came across my desk. Jeff knows Ag politics and about the corruption inside Monsanto and the Ag/Government/Academia partnership. His claim to fame is exposing the dangers of GMO crops and GMO foods. For those who are not familiar with those terms, GMO stands for genetically modified organisms applied to animal and human food, just as it is with vaccines.

But first, the video (there are other videos by Thicke at his You Tube channel) and then on to the Smith article.


I want to remind my readers of the opening of the Journal’s iShop where we have eBooks for nutrition and health . . . with many more coming. Take a peek and come back to peruse. Rather than accepting donations, I wanted to give you something back in value, to keep our projects going.– Augie

The Biggest Election Showdown is WHERE?

Jeffrey Smith

Jeffrey Smith

The world’s leading consumer advocate promoting healthier non-GMO choices.

2010-10-25-FrancisThicke.jpgMichael Pollan said “For the food movement,” this may be “the most important election this year.” Slow Food chef Kurt Michael Friese named it, The Most Important Race You Never Heard Of. And Change.org wrote, “There are a lot of important face-offs going on throughout the country, but none may be more important to farmers and food activists than the race in Iowa for Secretary of Agriculture.”

We’re talking Francis Thicke versus incumbent Bill Northey. It’s the archetypal challenge between cutting edge farming methods that can create a healthy and sustainable agricultural system (that’s Thicke, pronounced tick-ee), versus industrial methods that push top soil into our streams, animals into confinements, toxins into our environment, and farmers off the land (that’s Northey, pronounced Monsanto).

The race is statistically a dead heat. If Thicke wins, Food. Inc. director Robert Kenner says he will be “a game changer who can fix our agricultural system.” Grist says, “it would be a huge win not only for sustainable agriculture in Iowa, but the nation. And it would send a clear message to Congress as lobbyists and activists begin putting on their battle overalls for the next Farm Bill.”

Although this sounds like a lot to expect from one small state election for Ag Secretary, it’s not just any state, and it’s not just any candidate. “Iowa is one of our agricultural heavyweights,” says the Iowa Independent, which also predicts that Congress will definitely pay attention to whoever wins this election.”

“Iowa has always focused the nation’s agricultural vision,” says author Bill McKibben, who founded the global climate change organization 350.org. “We need Francis Thicke,” he says, “to help frame that new vision, right in the middle of the Heartland.”

According to Fred Kirschenmann, a father of the sustainable farming movement, “Thicke’s vision for Iowa agriculture is informed by his own experience as a farmer and by his academic study and research.”

Farmer, Scientist, and Policy Maker

For the past 27 years, Francis Thicke has run a successful organic dairy farm just outside my little town in Southeast Iowa. Folks here know and love his Radiance Dairy milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream, which Francis processes right on his property. In fact, local restaurants post signs bragging that they use Radiance Dairy. Francis has got the small town farmer thing down.

But Francis is also a scientist. He has a PhD in agronomy and a masters in soil science. Moreover, he has applied his expertise advising numerous state and national government committees, agricultural universities, extension agents, and research organizations over the past three decades. He has served on so many groups and is so deeply connected with the nation’s farmers, that whenever I speak at farm organizations anywhere in the country and mention where I’m from, people invariably say with a warm smile, “Well you must know my friend Francis Thicke.”

Read the rest of The Biggest Election Showdown is WHERE?

Today’s previous post on the FDA shut down of an artisan raw cheesemaker in Washington state is all the reason you need to support Thicke.

4 responses to “David vs Goliath: Sustainable Farmer/Soil Scientist Against Big Ag Money in Iowa Race for Secretary of Agriculture

  1. What wonderful news to learn that a candidate with Francis Thicke’s qualifications and experience is running for Secretary of Agriculture and most importantly that Francis Thicke is an organic farmer.
    To represent the consumer/people of the state rather than the multi-corporation like Monsanto would be a dream come true.
    Francis Thicke’s win would be the turning point, I do believe.

    Good Luck Mr. Thicke!

    Alma Christina Sychuk
    Green Valley, AZ

  2. Running ads on TV takes money. We Iowans are doing our part trying to get the vote out, but if you can chip in a few bucks for television, now is the time.

  3. Francis Thicke is the real deal. A practicing farmer, Ph.D., USDA policy expert, and a guy who isn’t fazed by going up against big ad. Big Ag touts science, but their science is extraordinarily limited and damaging. Francis is promoting real science, the science of understanding ecological systems, soil, and how to work within thos systems to create abundant and high quality food.

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