Saving Family Farms with New Hope for the Local Food Movement

Saving Family Farms with New Hope for the Local Food Movement
In the past several decades, factory farms have replaced small family farmers producing the majority of meat in the U.S.   The great news is a vibrant community of small farmers have resisted that trend, leading a revolution in meat production that values raising livestock in humane and environmentally friendly ways.
Gaining Ground is a new book about farmer’s markets, local food and saving the family farm.  The author, Forrest Pritchard, tells his story of fighting to save his family farm of seven generations using sustainable agricultural techniques.   The 500-acre farm provides for families of chicken, sheep, pigs, cattle and humans.   The author‘s first book has been named a notable one of the Top Ten Books for Summer 2013 by Publishers Weekly.
Another book, David Gumpert‘s Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Food Rights takes readers on a disturbing cross-country journey from Maine to California through a netherworld of Amish farmers paying big fees to questionable advisers to avoid the quagmire of America’s legal system.  The book covers secret food police lurking in vans at farmers markets, cultish activists preaching the benefits of pathogens, U.S. Justice Department lawyers clashing with local sheriffs and suburban moms worried enough about the dangers of supermarket food.  More and more Americans will risk fines and jail to feed their children unprocessed, and unregulated, foods of their choosing.
Additionally, the film, American Meat is available in a limited edition.   According to Joel Salatin, founder of Polyface Farms: 
American Meat offers a thoughtful, engaging look at livestock production in the U.S. Rather than engaging in polarizing diatribe, the documentary respects the personhood of both factory-type farmers and their pasture-based counterparts.  At the end of the film, both groups can sit down and have a conversation, which is exactly what creator Graham Meriwether would like to see happen.”
Meanwhile, the Farmer-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund has many programs aimed at leveling the playing field for small farmers facing the onslaught against the large agricultural community.   There are many ways consumers and local food can support and advocate for the small farmer.   You may donate or check out the website to get a copy of some of their books and DVDs.


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