The effects of farm policy have left our country vulnerable. Land, water, other natural resources, and labor have been consistently devalued throughout U.S. agricultural policy history, creating an unjust food system in which much of the work farmers do to enrich the land goes uncompensated.
Corporate control and influence over agricultural operations and policy in the U.S. has centered corporate interests while marginalizing the interests of farmers. By limiting corporate ownership of agricultural lands and involvement in agricultural production, we can begin to de-center corporate interests from our food and farming systems.
Specific anti-corporate farming law provisions of vary by state, but have been adopted in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. A common provision in many of these laws is to prohibit, or set limits on the size of, corporations’ agricultural landholdings. Read more.
Implementing corporate restrictions on ownership and involvement is one strategy for reducing corporate influence and controls over food and farming systems, but is part of a larger picture. Putting the future of farming in the hands of farmers will require greater policy change at the federal level and a critical examination of the impacts of price support policies beginning with the 1938 Farm Bill, which removed economic incentives for maintaining commodity prices at profitable levels for farmers.
- Establish anti-corporate farming laws that restrict involvement of certain corporations in agricultural production.
- Engage with diverse stakeholders throughout food and farming systems to explore impacts of corporate consolidation and ownership.
- Ensure that anti-corporate farming laws don’t prohibit non-profit entities, such as land trusts, from owning land. These organizations can be critical partners for young farmers in navigating land access and competing against other buyers.