“[Bill] McKibben is certain that the contracts these (CAFO) farmers sign with companies like Tyson are unfair, and the farmers might agree.” The words, “farmers might agree” is an understatement. Poultry and swine confinement farmers have repeatedly sued their “integrators” over the last decade.” (the corporations that vertically control the industrial animal system: (Tyson, Perdue, Nestle, Kraft, etc.) Confiscatory producer contracts that make the small family farmers virtual serfs on their own farms (to seize by or as if by authority) Farmers have no ownership stake in the corporation and face “blacklisting” if they don’t do as they are told (form of blackmailing) Unless farmers can have access to the truth about ecologically intelligent farming, they will remain captives of the industrial system We need to support outreach campaigns by institutions like Rodale to help farmers and consumers Fred Kirschenmann says, “a food system based on cheap oil, surplus water, and stable climate is not sustainable. We all are going to have change or relationship to food production, whether we want to or not.” Reading # 7 “Agri-Intellectual Reason” Q & A
1. What does the author mean by “conventional farmers who are trapped in a kind of Stockholm Syndrome relationship with the industrial food system”? Please explain what the Stockholm Syndrome is and how it applies to farmers. Be detailed in your response. a. Stockholm Syndrome is defined as an emotional attachment to a captor formed by the hostage as a result of continuous stress, dependence, and a need to cooperate for survival. 3 Farmers (hostage) who are contracted by big agricultural corporations are obligated by law to fulfill the contracts they have signed. They are forced into a repetitive system of dependence on the income from the contract. They need to earn and income to survive. As a result, the farms overall existence is attached to the contract to produce for the corporation (captor) resulting in Stockholm Syndrome. 2. How does the author propose we help small farmers escape the industrial food system? Discuss all the points brought up by the author. a. We can stand behind small farmers who are trapped in CAFO industrial contract, helping them fight back b. Seed laws and local animal treatment law reform in a community effort to push back on state pre-emption of local food issues c. Giving farmers access to alternative information, allowing them to understand the effects of organic farming processes and results. Bedford, C. (2009, August 19). Agri-Intellectual Reson (A Response to Blake Hurst). Civil Eats . Retrieved from - 13674787_2/courses/17S_CAG_AG401.11/7%20-%20Agri-Intellectual%20Reason %20%28A%20Response%20to%20Blake%20Hurst%29%20-%20Bedford.html 3 Source:
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- Local food, Blake Hurst