Farm Aid hosted the premier screening of our documentary film, Homeplace Under Fire, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on September 15, 2016.
Homeplace Under Fire is the story of American farm advocates and their 30-year fight to keep family farmers on the land. The Farm Crisis of the 1980s drove hundreds of thousands of family farmers into foreclosure. Yet, out of that crisis arose a legion of farm advocates who have refused to stand and watch their way of life go up in flames.
The screening was a perfect opportunity for USDA leadership and leaders in the farm advocacy community to explore the role of farm advocates in policy making and discuss how farm advocates keep farmers on the land. The group also discussed the progress that the 30-year engagement between the USDA and advocates has yielded, particularly around issues of access to credit, land retention and discrimination.
Ben Burkett, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, 4th generation farmer
Stephen Carpenter, Deputy Director & Senior Staff Attorney at Farmers' Legal Action Group (FLAG)
Val Dolcini, Administrator of Farm Service Agency (FSA)
Dr. Joe Leonard, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at USDA
Scott Marlow, Rural Advancement Foundation International - USA (RAFI-USA)
Carolyn Mugar, Executive Director, Farm Aid
Doug O’Brien, Senior Policy Advisor for Rural Affairs at the White House Domestic Policy Council
Elanor Starmer, Administrator of Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)
Watch the Homeplace Under Fire trailer:
View the full agenda here:
Opening remarks by Farm Aid’s Executive Director, Carolyn Mugar:
View Speaker Bios here:
National Coffee Connect
Friday, September 16th
Hylton Performing Arts Center
This less formal gathering on Friday afternoon offered a debrief from Thursday’s activities. The Coffee Connect was also a space where farmers, farm advocates and activists from around the country could connect, build community and share issue and campaign updates with one another.
Learn more about Farm Aid's 2016 concert in Bristow, Virginia, on September 17