The following is an excerpt of an opinion piece by Mara Abbott in the Daily Camera (Boulder, Co.), one of five in her series on farming in Boulder. 

A human-rights activist, an environmental consultant, and a host of biodynamic, organic and GMO farmers all walked into interviews with me to talk about their dreams for Boulder County's croplands.

The punchline? Everyone I interviewed wants the same thing — sustainable agriculture on open space land. For some, that sustainability is an ideology. For others, it is a livelihood. But the priority is unanimous. They also all believe in open space exceptionalism — our soil that grows the world's best sugar beets and high-country barley, our land that will host ground-breaking research on carbon sequestration, or commissioner Elise Jones' simple rationale that, "Boulder County is always a model, both within the state and beyond. This piece is no different."

Over the past two weeks, I've outlined environmental, economic and even social reasons why the rushed GMO ban on Boulder County agricultural lands doesn't make much sense — particularly considering recent setbacks further delaying research intended to facilitate the transition.

So let's try something: Let's pretend that it was the farmers — men and women who embody generations of experience working this land — who were in charge rather than the commissioners, two-thirds of whom seem bound either by politics or ideology to a short-sighted plan of action.

What steps would the farmers advise? What do they believe could be done to advance a future for the open space agricultural lands full of sustainability, resilience and good, healthy, local food?

Visit the Daily Camera website to read the full article.