The Ecological Cost of Discrimination: A Case Study of Rural Farmers in Oklahoma
In the 2017 U.S. Agricultural Policy Practicum at American University, rather than work on several separate individual or small group projects as past practicum classes had done, the students and Professor Graddy-Lovelace opted for a more collaborative approach of producing only two larger group reports . These reports were mostly worked on separately by two different teams but were also tied together through a shared focus on how U.S. policy has favored certain groups within the food system and a certain type of agriculture to the detriment of the majority of U.S. farms and farmers—especially those farms and farmers that do not fit the mold of large-scale industrial agriculture headed by white males.
This second report analyzes the Farm Bill's conservation and sustainable agriculture programs and uses original research from Oklahoma as case study to exemplify how the legacy of discrimination against certain groups of farmers not only makes those farmers more vulnerable to environmental risks, but also has ecological consequences that are relevant to all of rural Oklahoma. Topics covered include climate change and agriculture, race in agriculture, and agroecology.