Special Tribute to Al Krebs
Al Krebs, the one-man powerhouse behind the Agribusiness Examiner and tireless campaigner against the corporate concentration of power in agriculture, died last week. There's a fine obituary at Counterpunch, where Al himself wrote a great deal, on how Bill and Melinda Gates Do Agriculture, on Corporate Welfare and Mad Cow Disease.

Posted by Raj Patel at http://stuffedandstarved.org

Al Krebs, a founding member of the Alliance for Democracy, is remembered for his tireless fight against corporate agriculture and for family farms. He wrote the definitive work, The Corporate Reapers: The Book of Agribusiness, and in later years put out the weekly e-mail newsletter The Agribusiness Examiner. We will all miss Al. In honor of this indomitable man, it’s time to redouble our efforts in fighting corporate power.

Alliance members remember Al as a founding member of the Alliance for Democracy. He spoke at the founding convention in late November 1996 where more that 250 people from across the country gathered in the same Texas Hill Country where the first populist movement was spawned in the 1870s by farmer defending their rights against corporate rights and economic devastation. He was a member of AfD's National Council from 1996 to 2000 and chair of the Alliance's early Agriculture Campaign.

On July 4, 1998, Al and Ronnie Dugger, Co-founder of the Alliance, each drafted separate, but similar documents titled a “Declaration of Independence from Corporate Rule.” (Al's copy, Download) They each read their version in front of Constitution Hall in Philadelphia.

In early October 1998, Al participated in a forum titled “Udder Fraud: Genetic engineering, growth hormones and dairy cows. What giant agribusiness doesn’t want you to know” organized by members of the Sacramento and Davis AfD Chapters. The forum was held in Sacramento, Davis, Santa Rosa and San Francisco at a time when genetic engineering was under attack, especially bovine growth hormone for milk production.

Al participated in this forum, along with Ronnie Dugger, Founder and then Co-chair of AfD, Jane Akre and Steve Wilson, the award-winning TV investigative reporters whose 1997 Fox News story on Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) in Florida dairy herds was killed by Monsanto. They were later fired for refusing to alter the news and sued that station for rigging the news and suppressing information. Anuradha Mittal and Peter Rossert, at the time both with Food First also participated.

At the time, both UC Davis and UC Berkeley were contemplating agreements with Monsanto that manufactures and sells rBGH, and Novartis, respectively; the UC Davis/Monsanto agreement was not signed at the time, while the one between Novartis and UC Berkeley was signed over loud faculty and student protests and recently was not re-approved by mutual agreement.

At the Alliance convention, Spring 1999 in Boulder. Colorado, Al organized a “Food and Agriculture Day” on April 29. Many of Al’s friends, who now remember him so fondly participated: John Hansen, Baldemar Velasquez, Joseph Petulla, Clara Oleson, Wes Jackson, Kathleen Kelly Sullivan, Hope Shand, Mark Ritchie, Ben Kjelshus, William Heffernan, and Mary Hendrickson. A DVD of this day and the Udder Fraud conference may be available soon.

Al’s unique writing style - at once personal, relaxed and learned- is revealed in a review he wrote three years ago titled: “Water, Land and Cotton – Unmasking a Secret American Empire” The King of California. The King of California: J. G. Boswell and the Making of A Secret American Empire (2003).

Heather Gray captures the remarkable talents and spirit of Al Krebs in her memorial tribute:
“Seek the Fact, Agitate and Raise Hell:Al Krebs, a Fighter for Family Farmers.”

Special Tributes to Al Krebs 1932 – 2007
“Al Krebs, Champion of family farms”

“Al Krebs, a Fighter for Family Farmers”

“Farm Aid says Goodbye to Al Krebs”