We are farmers, activists, scholars, organizers, movement leaders, and policy analysts (with ample overlap) united by a commitment to farmer, worker, land, food and climate justice, racial equity and wellbeing for all.
Social peace comes when we have economic, cultural, racial, and social parity across our food system and society.
In 2020, a deadly global pandemic sweeps the country and globe, bringing financial fallout, vast unemployment, and doubling food insecurity.
The Black farming community has experienced so much pain. We have to begin by returning and maintaining land to Black farmers, and then addressing credit and debt. Until then, talking about fair prices is a luxury.
When applying economic theory that values preservation of our natural resources, health of small farm communities, and the cooperative culture of family farms, it becomes clear that the current agricultural system not only does not work for farmers or consumers, but inevitably creates externalities and, in fact, is a market failure.
A hallmark of New Deal era agricultural programs, price floors were eliminated along with other supply management tools over the second half of the 20th century. Absence of price floors drives down farm income and encourages overproduction – a vicious cycle with numerous externalities, from environmental degradation and agricultural intensification to supplying factory farms with cheap feed. Reinstating price floors is an essential step in restoring farm income and addressing these externalities.
In a farmer-controlled food system, we can reclaim our food system from the speculators, the corporations, and the international financial institutions that pressure farmers to grow commodities instead of food. Food can again be produced and purchased locally, giving power to farmers and consumers alike.