Who We Are
At our core is the National Family Farm Coalition and its member groups especially the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, and then the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy, Farm Aid, the Campaign for Food, Farm & Environment, Food & Water Watch, Dairy Together, as well as an array of interdisciplinary academics and researchers. This particular project on updating parity emerged from nearly a decade of collaborative agricultural policy analysis, building out from a 2012 Symposium on the Farm Bill at American University School of International Service. Research partnerships ensued to untangle the deleterious impacts of US farm policies. In both domestic and international realms, the specter of subsidized exports, of dumping, of collapsed prices, has long haunted farmers and those who know their struggle. And yet, in the Washington beltway, discourses of scarcity reigned; and in the burgeoning food movements, myths that subsidies are the root cause of an irrational food system further obscured the picture. Only a few of us could talk openly about the longstanding, global problems of surplus. Farm justice elders, George Naylor, Brad Wilson, Ben Burkett, and the late Kathy Ozer and Ralph Paige worked to convey the complicated truth of who wins (factory farms, grain dealers) and who loses (everyone who farms and eats, the climate, and our environment) with commodity crop glut. The 2018-2019 trade tantrum with China stopped the export ‘fix’ of surplus disposal; mountains of unused soybeans weighed heavily, as big checks from USDA hushed frustrations.