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Hunger In The Fields

Across the United States, farmworkers are having difficulty getting enough to eat. And they’re not alone: Rural communities as a whole are poorer and less able to feed themselves than their urban counterparts. In regions where our food is being grown, access to it is limited and the people who grow it are unable to afford it when it is available. Lack of transportation, fear, and other social issues increase farmworkers’ isolation and limit their food choices even more. The food security movement, working to increase access for communities at risk of hunger, tends to overlook rural people–and especially those who work in the fields. Read more

Rural Living May Be Hazardous To Your Health

The countryside is the place to go if you want to live a healthy life with clean air and water, lots of exercise, and fresh foods, right?

Wrong.  Maybe dead wrong.

That pastoral dream is a fantasy according to a report on the relative health of counties throughout the United States released last week by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Read more

Dairy Crisis 2009: Stand Up For Rural America While You Still Can

The assault on rural America continues unabated. For the past six months dairy farmers across the country have suffered a historic drop in milk prices while operating costs remain high. Since December 2008, the price that farmers are paid for the milk they produce has plunged over 50 percent, the largest single drop since the Great Depression.

While organic dairy farmers have faced a decrease in overall sales due to the recent world financial meltdown and tight budgets on the home front as a result, the current drop in milk prices is impacting mainly conventional and small to mid-size family dairy farmers — the worst crisis most dairy farmers have faced in their entire careers.

Without immediate action from President Obama, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and members of Congress, this current crisis could be the launching point for the final liquidation of the independent family farmer. Read more