Farmers, Fairness & the Farm Bill

where issues of producers, policy and equity converge

A Collaborative Research Project with Rural Coalition, National Family Farm Coalition & American University's School of International Service (Washington, DC)


Emmalee June Aman and Jamie Lynne Pratt

Photo Credit: Chin-Hua Fang

Photo Credit: Chin-Hua Fang

Agroecology is a method of farming that combines concepts in agriculture and ecology to produce resilient and sustainable farming systems.  It relies upon the sharing of knowledge between farmers, understanding of agroecological technologies, access to land, support of local markets, and government policy.  Agroecological farming is vital to protecting environments, communities, and cultures both locally and globally.  The Farm Bill funds for programs to assist farmers who practice sustainable agriculture.  The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (ATTRA), and the Organic Transitions Program (ORG) are examples.  Programs like these improve conditions for farmers growing non-commodity crops in the US and abroad and they reduce human impacts on the earth.  This research aims to help beginning and transitioning agroecological farmers by creating a toolkit of resources. The toolkit also incorporates the story of a local farmer named Kip Kelley and his farm to provide context and insight. 

Click here to read the full toolkit (.pdf)

Permaculture and Community: “A Farming Future” (APRIL 2013)

Erica Christensen, David Golding, Casey Harrison, Cameron Harsh, Sarah Howell, Elise Solorio

This film is part of the Family Farm Featurette Series of short films  created by American University graduate students from the School of International Service, in collaboration with the National Farm Farm Coalition and the Rural Coalition. 

 The Accokeek Land Trust was founded in 1957 across the Potomac from George Washington's Mt. Vernon. In 2008, the area also became home to the Center for Agricultural and Environmental Stewardship (CAES), where they offer workshops, field days, presentations, community forums, and the March 2013 "Permaculture and Community" full-week training. ECO City Farms was assisted by the Rural Coalition and numerous other regional farmers and agricultural enthusiasts in conducting a training session that encouraged regional farmers in their efforts to develop sustainable food productions systems. The workshop utilized co-participation and co-facilitation methodologies to strengthen the skills needed to help cultivate a more sustainable farm and food system.

I see that as a way that I can be sustainable. I can go, I can teach people how to do this because if we don’t do it now, then when?
— Mapi Alvarez

Community partnered action research on and for U.S. agricultural policy