We wish to thank all the ISKCON farms that fulfilled the farm surveys that we sent out. About 30 farms responded. The information gleaned from these surveys were the facts and figures that made up the body of the power point presentation given to the GBC body. The GBC farm resolutions were left for voting at this time. Syamasundara prabhu (European Minister for Cow Protection and Agriculture and head of the Bhaktivedanta Manor Goshalla) developed the presentation and gave it in Balabhadra's absence. Due to illness, Balabhadra could not attend the GBC meetings. In future blogs we will present some of facts and figures from the farm surveys.
310. GBC Participation in Farm Projects [Guideline]
Whereas ISKCON farms and farmers often struggle to make their operations viable;Whereas ISKCON farms, cow protectors, farmers, and those engaged in rural development often feel unsupported by ISKCON management;
Whereas the successful establishment of varnasrama and rural life was a key concern of Srila Prabhupada;
Whereas the Vedic system is supportive of agricultural and rural communities;Whereas there has been a global decline in the general status of farm projects;
Whereas ISKCON farm projects in which GBC members put energy are often successful;
RESOLVED:That all GBC members, as far as possible, commit themselves to spend 10% of their time helping to develop farm projects:
by giving 10% of their classes on the importance of farm development and cow protection
and/or by spending 10% of their time on a farm or farms to encourage the farm devotees
311. Purchasing from ISKCON Farms and Farmers [Guideline]
Whereas ISKCON farms and farmers often struggle to make their operations viable;Whereas the majority of temples and centers do not buy produce from their local farm, farmers, or goshalla;
Whereas in times of global economic crises, by not buying from our local farms there is danger of high prices and food shortage due to dependence on outside sources which are in turn dependent on oil-consuming transport companies;
Whereas other religious groups successfully purchase from their own projects thereby presenting an ecologically-friendly, self-sufficient lifestyle to the world; Whereas it was Srila Prabhupada’s desire that we, ISKCON, present an ecologically-friendly, self-sufficient lifestyle to the world “independent from outside help;”
Whereas the Vedic system was supportive of agricultural and rural communities;Whereas there has been a decline in the development of ISKCON farms and most remaining farms are struggling;
RESOLVED: That all ISKCON Deity kitchens, temples, restaurants, and relevant projects should purchase, wherever possible, produce, flowers, and milk products from ISKCON farms in their local region up to a ceiling of their current purchases, provided they are of reasonable quality and can be afforded. Where practical, the ISKCON temples, restaurants, or projects concerned will explore the possibility of purchasing land and making it available to farmers to cultivate. Additionally, temples should make available, at a reasonable cost, space for farm produce to be sold.