Siena Chrisman is a Brooklyn-based researcher and writer addressing agriculture and social justice. She balances out city life with a focus on rural commodity farmers and livestock policy. Read more at carrotfreshlyobserved.com.
Well over a quarter of a million farms were lost in the 1980s Farm Crisis, and with them went businesses and eventually whole communities. A new short documentary film produced by Farm Aid tells the story of the farmer advocates who learned the law and fought the foreclosures, helping an untold number of farmers stay on their land.
Ben Burkett's family has been farming on the same land in Petal, Mississippi, since 1889, when his maternal grandfather acquired a 164-acre homestead. Today, it's known as B & B Farm, after Ben's parents, Ben and Bessie. Read more about Ben in the first installation in our new series, "In the Field."
The National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) has spent thirty years advocating for "fair prices, local jobs and fresh foods" for farmers across the country. With the passing of Kathy Ozer, NFFC's longtime and dedicated Executive Director, the Coalition is facing a transitional moment.
A new feature-length documentary produced by Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), "Under Contract: Farmers and the Fine Print," explores the hardships and hidden risks faced by the people who grow nearly all the chicken eaten in the US - risks that turn chicken growers into modern-day serfs.
Mary Swander, Poet Laureate of Iowa, is the author of numerous books, poetry and plays. The plays, based on hours of conversations with Iowans, draw on an oral history tradition, presenting rural stories in people's own words. With rural issues in the spotlight following the election, we spoke with Mary about her work, the rural-urban divide and the role art plays in challenging times.
With the government setting milk prices well below the cost of production, small dairies are closing by the thousands. But milk production hasn't slowed - it is simply being produced on fewer (and larger) farms.