How We Work

Empower Family Farmers

NFFC chooses its campaigns based on their potential to empower family farmers by reducing the corporate control of agriculture and promoting a more socially just farm and food policy.

NFFC carries out these campaigns by working with our members throughout the country and allies similarly focused on vibrant rural communities and a safe, healthy environment.

Farmers representing their respective organizations share similar strategies for renewing family farm agriculture but politicians often pit regional groups against each other in public policy debates. Farm groups from differing commodities and regions collaborate to develop national organizing strategies and directly participate in issue work.

NFFC members and staff were engaged in a strategic planning process between August 2018 and August 2019 to guide our work for the next three to five years. We emphasize achieving economic empowerment for family farmers, ranchers, fishers and workers, and for ending the corporation consolidation and control of our resources.

Guiding Principles 

As a result of our strategic planning process we developed these Guiding Principles which we use internally as a foundation for doing our work as an organization, but externally they represent the system our farmer/rancher/fisher/foodworker members want. These principles are aspirational, interrelated and meant to be considered together.

  1. Equity and Diversity

The marginalization of any peoples is rooted in a long history of racism, exclusion and oppression, especially in agriculture. People of all races, incomes, gender, class, cultural backgrounds, and ethnicities must be able to grow, raise, catch and affordably access culturally appropriate, wholesome foods.

  1. Culture with Community and Cooperation

A strong sense of cooperation with a high degree of respect for cultural integrity is essential for creating open, resilient and vibrant communities.

  1. Access as a Means to Empowerment 

Those who grow, raise, and catch our food - especially in rural communities - must have access to seeds, land, water, fishing rights, infrastructure, capital, the political system and other essential resources.

  1. Farmer-, Rancher-, Fisher- and Foodworker-Led Organization 

Farmers, ranchers, fishers and foodworkers play a critical role in our society and should be supported, valued and included in making decisions that affect them, their environment and their communities.

  1. Fair Price and Living Wages for All

Farmers, ranchers, and fishers in rural communities are economically empowered when they are part of the system that controls the prices and wages they are paid.

  1. Nurturing and Engaging Leadership 

Spreading out the work and nurturing multiple layers of diverse leadership to enable leaders to learn, thrive, and lead effectively is core to a movement’s strength and longevity.

  1. Building Common Ground 

Food and fiber are basic human needs that must be met in ways that bring people of all political perspectives together through common values that promote economic, human, and environmental health.

  1. Justice, Mercy, Dignity, Respect for All in the Food System

Farmworkers, fishworkers and everyone working along our food chain must be paid fairly, offered a dignified life, and have a voice in their workplace that is safe and free of threats, racism, sexism and intimidation.

  1. Sustainability, Biodiversity and Ecological Responsibility

Farming, ranching, and fishing should be done in ways that nurture the earth through agro-ecological techniques that offer nourishing food for generations to come, and healthy soils, air, water, and biodiversity in plants and animals while recognizing that this cannot be achieved without ensuring economic sustainability for all.