Professor Pahnke: Farmers Need a Bill of Rights

Friday, August 30, 2019

CHICAGO TRIBUNE -- Jim Goodman is an organic dairy farmer from Wonewoc, Wisconsin, and Anthony Pahnke is the vice president of the Family Farm Defenders and assistant professor of International Relations at San Francisco State University.

“Besides a fair income, just like other workers, the Farmers Bill of Rights seeks to guarantee farmers fair and open markets that are not dominated by a handful of corporations. It also promotes access to local supply stores, mechanics and processing facilities,” they wrote. “And the proposal intends to assure the provision of credit to women, beginning, immigrant and minority farmers, while pushing for reasonable environmental standards for all rural people. Moreover, the proposition includes the right to transparent and accurate enforcement of production practices, including organic and country of origin labeling, as well as the right to repair our own equipment rather than being forced to pay corporations that feel they still ‘own’ the rights to what we purchase.

“Rural people are entitled to the right to live in healthy, vigorous communities that have quality schools, medical care and opportunities for all.”