Small and midscale livestock producers took major hits over the past few years as USDA failed to implement new fair marketing provisions to strengthen enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921. However, a recent Presidential executive order to address issues of concentration in a wide range of industries including agriculture – meat processors and also inputs, machinery, and seeds – has brought new hope for fair competition in livestock markets.
A study of 39 direct-market vegetable farms in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, most with less than 15 acres in vegetables production, found the majority were not earning a middle-class income. Three primary pathways for improving direct-market incomes were: (1) increasing the number of acres in vegetable production; (2) growing more and higher-value crops per acre; and (3) developing more efficient production systems.
Meet the Black Women Driving New Ag Policy
A new generation of elected officials is working to benefit disadvantaged farmers and African Americans in their states by serving on agriculture committees, introducing legislation to promote equity in agriculture, and fighting food insecurity.
The Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission published a feasibility study for a multi-use multi-use agricultural facility that would serve the area’s small farmers and food business entrepreneurs in need of certified kitchen, processing, aggregating, and storage space with grants from USDA Local Food Promotion and GO Virginia Enhanced Capacity Building program. CSPCD used these funds to assess the feasibility of a and perhaps more. The project is now in the design, planning, and fundraising phase.
Six Secretaries of Agriculture from six states within the Bay watershed, including Virginia’s Bettina Ring, have called on call on USDA to provide $737 million in funding for a proposed Chesapeake Bay Resilient Farms Initiative.
Chris Newman, founder of Sylvanaqua Farms in the Northern Neck, on racism in the farm-to-table movement, how indigenous practices influence the way he farms and why, ultimately, feeding people needs to be at the heart of sustainable farming.