Rodale Institute Director Begins 160 Mile Walk from PA to Washington, D.C.
(Kutztown, PA October 1, 2014) On October 1, 2014, Rodale Institute Executive Director, ‘Coach’ Mark Smallwood set out on a 160 mile walk from the Institute’s farm in Kutztown, PA, to Washington, D.C. Smallwood is set to arrive in Washington, D.C., on October 16th after walking an average of 10 miles per day for 16 days. On arrival in the capitol he will hand deliver a recent study from the Institute which identifies regenerative organic agriculture as a solution for reversing climate change.
“We were there at the People’s Climate March in New York City,” said Smallwood. “But what’s happening now? The media has moved on to the next story. People are back to business as usual. I’m walking to keep up the pressure and sound the call for an organic planet. It’s the best option we have for reversing climate change.”
Addressing the United Nations on Tuesday, President Barack Obama acknowledged the march saying, “Our citizens keep marching. We cannot pretend we do not hear them. We have to answer the call.”
Rodale Institute’s study,”Regenerative Organic Agriculture & Climate Change: A Down-to-Earth Solution to Global Warming,” states that reversing climate change is possible through simple photosynthesis and healthy soil biology. If all agricultural land on Earth were transitioned to reflect regenerative organic principles, crop lands would capture 40% of annual emissions, and graze lands would capture 71%. Together, they would represent 111% of annual emissions, capturing all current greenhouse gases that we emit annually and beginning to draw down excess carbon from the atmosphere. Reversal of climate change has not been a topic of discussions between global leaders who have settled for goals to simply reduce the amount of carbon added to the atmosphere every year.
“It’s simple. It’s fourth grade science, with no downside. The global transition to an organic planet is already underway, it’s happening now. The organic movement is stronger than ever with growth that far exceeds conventional agriculture,” said Smallwood.
Anyone interested in walking with Coach may visit Rodale Institute’s website, which will feature daily updates on the progress of the Walk for an Organic Planet and a schedule of all events scheduled for the Walk.
Those interested in following the Walk for an Organic Planet more closely are encouraged to sign up for email updates through the Institute’s website and follow the Walk on the Institute’s social media channels.
Since its founding in 1947 by J.I. Rodale, the Rodale Institute has been committed to groundbreaking research in organic agriculture, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating people about how organic is the safest, healthiest option for people and the planet. The Institute is home to the Farming Systems Trial (FST), America’s longest-running side-by-side comparison of chemical and organic agriculture. Consistent results from the study have shown that organic yields match or surpass those of conventional farming. In years of drought, organic corn yields are about 30 percent higher. New areas of study at the Rodale Institute include rates of carbon sequestration in chemical versus organic plots, new techniques for weed suppression and organic livestock.
ABOUT RODALE INSTITUTE
Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach. For more than sixty years, we’ve been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing our findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest options for people and the planet.