The USFRA was created in 2011 as a trade association uniting Big Ag corporations (such as Monsanto, Cargill and DuPont Pioneer) and marketing groups for commodities (including corn, soybeans, beef and pork). Take note: some of these groups are farmer-funded, but in reality, farmers have no choice but to fund them, and it is often at their own expense.
On April 28th, NFFC and Iowa CCI staff joined ROC United, National Domestic Workers Alliance, the National People’s Action, and the National Organization for Women to show Congress that we are fed up with them favoring corporations over people. The march timed to coincide with the National Restaurant Association’s annual lobby day. “The other NRA” has worked to block minimum minimum wage increases, paid sick day legislation, and kept the federal tipped minimum wage at $2.13 since 1991. The NRA also lobbied against sustainable farming practices, farm animal welfare rules, and efforts to label the nutritional quality of foods in restaurants.
I thought this would be a pretty simple first blog post – Monsanto’s Roundup Contaminates More than Just the Food on the Store Shelves – but breast milk?
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack appeared before the House Agriculture Committee last week to discuss the state of the rural economy and field questions on the implementation of the Farm Bill. Over the past few weeks USDA officials have appeared before the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to discuss USDA’s proposed budget for FY2015. And as always, bills are being introduced on the Hill that would have real impacts on the lives of farmers. Here are some key highlights:
Our Meeting with Christopher Leonard and a discussion about his book, The Meat Racket: The Secret Takeover of America’s Food Business. Leonard, a former AP agribusiness reporter, discussed what he learned about the meat industry and the struggles of livestock growers in the business. It was an honor and a privilege to have this conversation with him over dinner, which included sustainably, family farm raised ham from Patchwork Family Farms and cheese from Cheddar Grove.
Read NFFC’s President Ben Burkett Review of 2014 Farm Bill
To: Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chair of the Senate Ag Committee,
Senator Thad Cochran, Minority Chair of the Senate Ag Committee
Rep. Frank Lucas; Chair; House Ag Committee
Rep. Colin Peterson, Minority Chair; House Ag Committee
This week has been a busy week in DC. The TAFTA negotiators were in town and NFFC, along with other members of the Citizens Trade Campaign, greeted them on gray Monday morning.
Students at Ball State University created this excellent short documentary on the state of small farms in the U.S., thanks in no small part to insights imparted by NFFC director Kathy Ozer. The film focused on the story of the Becker Family Farm and featured interviews with Kathy and other notable individuals, including Will Allen of Growing Power and Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN).
NFFC joined Friends of the Earth in a protest outside of the Charlie Palmer’s Steak House where USTR Mike Froman had lunch with “green groups” to discuss the Trans Pacific Partnership.
Immediately after the Food Sovereignty Prize, Rachel flew to Taos, New Mexico to represent NFFC and USFSA at the Growing Food and Justice Initiative Gathering. She attended the Intensive Leadership Facilitation Training as well as the main conference to join the conversation about racism and structural inequality in our food system.
On October 15th, the US Food Sovereignty Alliance hosted the 5th annual Food Sovereignty Prize at Cooper Union in New York City. Representatives of the honorees and USFSA opened the ceremony with a Mystica, wearing flags that represented the honorees as well as other liberation fighters. The Mystica participants carried bowls of seeds, water, soil, and aspirations through the audience to join Mother Earth center stage. Chants and a song of struggle and liberation were shared with the audience before moving into the formal ceremony.