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)


Women Farmers in the United States Wives or Workers: Invisibilizing Female Farmers in the United States (April 2013)

Women have continuously played a crucial role in agricultural development in the United States, working alongside men to produce the country's food supply.  However,  "The transition from the iconic small-scale, family farm to the capital-intensive industrial farming of today included an under-emphasized, but re-entrenched gendering of the farm system and greatly altered the lives and perception of agricultural women...Men in production and women in reproduction was the best path to abundance and progress" (p. 2).  Since this transition, female farmers have continued to produce our food while struggling against gender-based discrimination in agricultural policies and programs.

 Click here to read the full report (.pdf)

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Federal Crop Insurance US Federal Crop Insurance: Equity and Access for Small Producers (April 2013) 

A key feature of the US Farm Bill, "The Crop Insurance Program has been consistently expanded, with efforts to include greater protection for specialty (e.g., fruit and vegetable) crops.  However...the program predominantly favors a handful of commodity and trade crops such as cotton, corn, wheat, soybeans, rice, and peanuts.  Seventy-four precent of the total crop insurance premiums in 2002 came from just corn, soy, wheat, and cotton.  These, of course tend to be grown by large-scale industrial producers...[and] the system incentivizes an inefficient and inequitable delivery of services that results in inadequate access by small producers" (p. 5).

Click here to read the full report (.pdf)

Produce at a farmer's market in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC.    Photo Credit: Erica Christensen 

Produce at a farmer's market in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC. 

Photo Credit: Erica Christensen 

Farming and Farmers in American Media Farmers' Marketing: White Washing our Nations Farmers (April 2013)

A brief investigation into representations of farmers and farming in a variety of media demonstrates a clear emphasis on a narrow image of what is actually a diverse field.  Advertising and other media in the United States "present a strong message that White males are the only viable farmers and render the 7% of minority farmers and nearly 30% of female farmers invisible, both to the American public and policymakers at all levels of governance" (p. 6).  Also strongly conveyed in these messages is an overwhelming emphasis on power and a dominance over nature with industrial technologies.

Click here to read the full report (.pdf)

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