Opinion: It's Time to Heed the Call of Rural America

, The National Law Journal


Post-election, everyone is talking about rural America. But what are we doing about rural America?

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  • Brad Wilson

    America‘s farm states had a greatly increased need for lawyers during the 1980s farm crisis, and the crisis (starting in the 1950s) continues. Farmers are a minority that is quite different from other minorities, but also including most minorities. Helpers need some knowledge of our minority studies, (“farm studies,”) and especially of our fight for “farm justice.” Unfortunately, there is tremendous illiteracy about our social movements, for example compared to the civil rights movement. (org/zblogs/farm-studies-illiteracy-test/ ) Much of the best material is pre-internet, and available only in paper archives in places like Iowa (i.e. see the references here, org/zblogs/the-women-of-farm-justice-forgotten-by-women-today/ ) These concerns were illustrated by a conference on food justice that I attended at Harvard Law School in March of 2015, which lacked contact, (personal or academic,) with the core farm issues of the vast rural regions. A group in American University‘s international studies department has been working to bridge this gap by working closely with the National Family Farm Coalition and the Rural Coalition (of minority farming groups). This year they sent four students out to visit with farm justice leaders here in Iowa, and they worked in a visit to one of the archives as well. Some historical materials are being made available online. (me/brads-farm-justice-work-online/ )

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