For the Amish, Big Agribusiness Is Destroying a Way of Life

At first glance, the Swartzentruber Amish of St. Lawrence County, New York, look to be self-reliant stewards of a bucolic and unchanging landscape. Although their daily chores demand Olympic stamina — regiments of mugwort-weeding and hay-bailing — the Swartzentrubers still pause and wave politely to 18-wheelers passing through the county, which stretches from the Adirondacks to the suburbs of Montreal.

But over the last decade, new neighbors such as thousand-cow dairies and genetically modified starch producers have moved into the region, vying with Amish farm stands selling strawberries, night crawlers, and maple syrup.

The scenario facing the Swartzentrubers, who account for the second-fastest-growing Amish settlement in New York, could spell caution for any locavore or family business frustrated by economic shifts.

Limoneira Company Announces Sale of Calavo Growers

SANTA PAULA, CA–(Marketwire – 10/30/09) – Limoneira Company (LMNR), one of California’s largest agribusinesses, announced the sale of 335,000 shares of its ownership in Calavo Growers, Inc. (NASDAQ: CVGW), a global leader in the packing and marketing of fresh and processed avocados and other perishable food products. The sales took place on October 8th and 13th 2009, and were made to strengthen the Company’s balance sheet in preparation for its pending East Area 1 master planned community development project in Santa Paula, California. Limoneira continues to own 665,000 Calavo shares, which represents 4.6% of Calavo’s total shares.

"The Limoneira Company remains extremely excited about the bright futures of both Calavo Growers and Limoneira," says Harold Edwards, Limoneira’s CEO. "By monetizing a percentage of our ownership in Calavo Growers we are preparing for upcoming investment requirements in our East Area 1 development project, which will assist in unlocking significant value for both Limoneira and Calavo shareholders." Calavo Growers owns 15% of Limoneira.