AAG 2016 CFP: The Politics of Farming in North America: Challenges and Resistance

The Politics of Farming in North America: Challenges and Resistance (AAG 2016 Paper Session)

Climate change, rural decline, the cost-price squeeze, localized pollution and erosion, uncertain markets, and neoliberal policies are making it increasingly difficult to be a farmer in North America (Akram-Lodhi 2013). With an aging farming population and farms getting larger and larger, it can be hard for new entrants to get a foothold in agriculture with the cost of capital infrastructure often exceeding their means. Additionally, with neoliberal capitalism, the erosion of agriculture support programs, the introduction of new international trade agreements, and increased corporate concentration have marginalised farmers who remain committed to sustainable, small-scale agriculture. We invite participants to submit abstracts for this paper session who will address any or all of the following questions, and who are keen to discuss the changing political role of farmers within North America:

  • How are farmers confronting and resisting neoliberal capitalism and industrial agriculture? (Goodman et al. 2012; McMichael 2013)
  • To what extent are solutions such as direct marketing, agroecological practices, marketing boards and supply management enabling farmers to address these challenges? (Desmarais and Wittman 2014)
  • Are farmers able to use their political positions, individuals and collectively, to protect their livelihoods and work towards changes in the food system? (Friedmann 2005)
  • How are efforts to build learning communities and networks of solidarity constrained by governments, institutions and/or corporations? (Holt-Giménez and Altieri 2013; Martin and Andrée 2014; Levkoe and Wakefield 2014)
  • Are the concepts of food sovereignty and agroecology being mobilized in productive ways in North America? (Edelman 2014)
  • How are new and experienced farmers organizing to guarantee themselves a livelihood while also working towards the establishment of a food system that is sustainable and socially just? (Andrée et al. 2014; Brookfield 2008)

Organizers: Julia Laforge, University of Manitoba, julia.laforge@umanitoba.ca and Bryan Dale, University of Toronto, bryan.dale@mail.utoronto.ca

To participate in this session, please 1) register and submit your abstract (250 words maximum) to AAG following the AAG guidelines (http://www.aag.org/cs/annualmeeting/register); and 2) send the title and the PIN number to julia.laforge@umanitoba.ca by Nov. 15, 2015. Please feel free to email Julia Laforge at julia.laforge@umanitoba.ca if you have any questions.

Sponsored by:
Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group (GFASG)
Rural Geography Special Group (RGSG)