June 2020 🐝 Food & Farming Policy News

How is COVID-19 affecting policy? We take a look from all angles.

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Dear Rebecca,

Welcome to the June 2020 edition of The Buzz. The senseless killing of George Floyd, one of the countless Black men who have died at the hands of the police, has put the United States’ history of systemic racism to the forefront. Nowhere is this history more foundational than in our agriculture, beginning with the enslavement of Black people to farm land stolen from Indigenous populations and continuing with the exploitation of Latinx, Black, and Asian workers in the fields and food processing facilities today. There will be no food justice or truly sustainable agriculture in this country without racial justice, and that’s why the sustainable ag community must stand with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Below, this month’s edition leads with an article about the history of racism in agriculture and how rural America is (or is not) responding to the current crisis. The story features CFSA member (and our 2019 Activist of the Year), Davon Goodwin, who is the only Black commercial farmer in Scotland County, NC, and manager of the Sandhills AGInnovation Center. We will continue to focus on issues of racial equity in agriculture in future newsletters.

We continue to advocate for legislation that will support sustainable agriculture as farms, farmers markets, and other local food businesses struggle to stay afloat during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Farmers across the Carolinas who are being devastated; 3 out of 4 of our local farms are losing significant revenue as shown by CFSA’s member survey report released this week.

The remainder of this month’s edition will highlight several issues that have been under the radar including a federal court’s ruling that North Carolina’s controversial “ag-gag” law is unconstitutional, another federal court decision around herbicide use, and an update on the ever-turbulent world of hemp.

5f856726-128e-40b6-835c-5cd030e92afb.pngIn solidarity,

Nick Wood, CFSA Policy Director

Want a live video explaining legislative updates?

You’re in luck! We’re going live with NC Rural Center next Tuesday to share updates on current happenings in the NC General Assembly and U.S. Congress around food and farming. Take a coffee break and tune in!

Tuesday | 12 pm | Facebook


Here are the top reads from CFSA’s policy team

48f0764c-0c36-4389-bb5c-a48f07276134.pngJared Cates, Community Mobilizer

Talking About Racism in Rural Communities

Reckoning With Racial Justice in Farm Country, featuring Davon Goodwin, the only Black commercial farmer in Scotland County NC, provides an in-depth look at how rural communities and agricultural groups have been divided over George Floyd’s death and the resulting protests. It also discusses the need for more white farmers and agricultural organizations to raise their voices on systemic racial injustices within agriculture and beyond.

While examining agriculture’s racist history, the existing current divides, and the connections to larger societal issues, this article also focuses on the current building momentum to work together on real action towards more just agricultural systems.

^ Article Follow-Up with Davon Goodwin ^

The article Jared mentions above really moved us. So much so that we’re doing a follow-up conversation with Davon tomorrow, Friday (6/26) to talk about it further. Join us! And if you cannot, there will be a recording up on our social media channels.

Friday (tomorrow)| 10 am | Facebook