Professor Pahnke: Farmworkers Pushed to Brink amid COVID, Wildfires

Thursday, October 01, 2020

TRUTHOUT -- Anthony Pahnke is vice president of the Family Farm Defenders and an assistant professor of International Relations at San Francisco State University in San Francisco. He wrote this opinion piece for TruthOut.

“There also should be more means for farmworkers, if they so choose, to access land,” Pahnke wrote. “Certain groups are making strides in this area — for instance, the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association, which trains migrant laborers how to become organic farmers. The federal government could better fund such efforts by expanding the allotment for beginning and historically marginalized farmers.

“Additionally, workers without citizenship could be offered a pathway to it, or at least temporary work permits and a reprieve from deportation after acquiring loans to finance land purchases and become farmers. Not only would this benefit workers, but also the United States overall, especially as the average age of farmers ticks up steadily and young people are not replacing them.”