Happy One Year Anniversary Fair Farms

It’s official – the Fair Farms campaign is now one year old!

When we launched this effort, our immediate goal was to bring together environmental groups, farmers and farm organizations, green businesses, food policy specialists, and public health professionals to reframe the conversation about good food, sustainability, and the environment. We also wanted to help consumers make informed decisions about how their food is grown and lift up your voices in support of a new food future.

Together, we accomplished a lot this year!

Building Our Movement

Any significant act of change starts with people power.

We are proud that in our first year alone, Fair Farms has amassed more than 25,000 supporters through online and in-person engagement. On Facebook alone, we have a community of 10,000 Marylanders strong!

We now have 130 partners aligned with the values of Fair Farms. They help us build our movement, amplify our power, and contribute to our shared vision of a new future for farming. We are so proud to stand with our partners and to tell their stories. We are also thrilled to connect consumers like you to these partners. Check them all out here.

This past year, Fair Farms lifted up the voices of more than 25 farmers, chefs, public health and environmental advocates. We heard from beekeepers and physicians, farm market managers and green grocers, farmworker advocates and individuals who are passionate about high-welfare farming. We showcased their stories through written narratives, podcasts, and videos.

Peruse all of our “Farm Stories” on the Fair Farms website.

Thank YOU for sharing Fair Farms with your friends and family to make ours a genuine grassroots movement of Marylanders.

Becoming Informed

Food policy reform is a complex topic, and we aim to make these issues accessible and digestible (pun intended!). This year, Fair Farms sought to answer questions as diverse as “what’s the truth behind various food labels” and “who benefits from farm subsidies?”

Throughout the year, we held movie screenings on these issues and participated in community conversations in Annapolis, Hyattsville, Easton, La Plata, Stevensville and Frederick. We exhibited at farm markets and festivals around the state, and had a red-hot booth at Farm Aid. We offered quizzes you could take to learn more. And we released a video explaining why Fair Farms is so important to creating a new food future.

In our report, Diversifying the Agricultural Basket, agro-economist Aiden Irish showed us that agricultural economies are best served by growing diverse crops. If you haven’t read the report or listened to the interview on the report on the Marc Steiner show, you can find it here.

Calling Us to Action

This year, thousands of you in our collective movement lifted up your voices at the state, local and federal levels in support of better public policies:

  • In Maryland, you asked for and got the Pollinator Protection Act — a first of its kind law in the nation that restricts consumer access to bee-harming pesticides, which are critical for our food supply.
  • In Prince George’s County and Montgomery County, your advocacy helped pass laws to support urban gardeners and urban farmers.
  • On the federal level, you advocated for a newly established rule granting greater protections to farmers who hold contracts with large companies. We also advocated for improved animal welfare standards in the USDA Organic label — fingers crossed these new standards will move forward!
  • In the business realm, your petition signatures helped Fair Farms bring the third largest poultry integrator in the nation, Sanderson Farms, to the table to discuss antibiotic overuse in livestock production. We’ve had two intensive conversations with their upper management. This conversation is ongoing. Stay tuned!

All of this is just a beginning. Fair Farms needs you now more than ever. As we grow our movement, your support is invaluable. And we are always glad to hear from you. Drop us a line at info@fairfarms.org to let us know what’s on your mind.

As always, find us online at www.FairFarms.org and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This holiday season, we wish you delicious meals with family and friends that exemplify the values of fair farming.

Most importantly, we wish you a healthy and happy New Year!