From genetically engineered crops, to the Farm Bill, to saving a local farm, there are a lot of farm-related issues to organize around. But how to efficiently and effectively create a grassroots campaign isn’t always clear. The resources below—from veteran rabble-rousers and activists—provide tools to get a successful grassroots campaign off of the ground.
Updated Spring 2016.
The Center for Food Safety has a guide for activists working on genetically engineered crops. The guide contains tips for how to recruit volunteers, organize a meeting, plan a tabling or petitioning event, and meet with store management and elected officials. The guide also has resources for community organizing and fundraising, campaign planning strategy charts, and a community media guide with example press releases, interviews, and a sample letter to the editor.
Real Food Challenge has a campaign toolbox with resources for student and campus campaigns. Their toolbox includes factsheets, food films to screen on campus and campaign materials. This toolbox even includes a Real Food Calculator to track a school’s food purchases.
The Socially Responsible Agricultural Project, or SRAP, has a collection of activist resources for those working to protect their communities from factory farms. They have a guide to confronting a factory farm, factsheets, and state-specific resources.
The National Young Farmers’ Coalition has a guide to building a coalition of young farmers. [PDF link] This is a great resource for beginning farmers looking to create a regional support network and to tackle barriers young farmers face.
Though not specifically related to food, the American Medical Student Association has a very comprehensive guide to grassroots action. Their guide includes step-by-step documents on how to organize and execute a strategic campaign. The tools help with targeting the media, Congress, and state legislators, and the guide includes everything from writing effective newsletters and blogs, to starting a letter-writing campaign, lobbying 101, holding a press conference, as well as how to become a better public speaker, and much, much more.
This Civil Eats article covers ways to organize around the good food movement with successful examples from changing policies on what fast food restaurants can serve in kids’ meals, to changing outdated zoning code and empowering urban farmers to cultivate and sell their produce in the city.
Not finding what you need? Request one-on-one assistance from our Farm Advocate, Joe Schroeder, by filling out our Online Request for Assistance form or by calling 1-800-FARM-AID (1-800-327-6243). Farm Aid staff are happy to listen and help you however we can.