Farmers Speak Out

Recorded in Vancouver during the October 2006 Bridging Borders Toward Food Security Conference, the plenary titled, “A Vision for Food Sovereignty: Farmers Speak Out” provided a critical opportunity for those working on community food security work to hear from farmers themselves.

Topics discussed: The effects of free trade agreements on farmers in Mexico, Canada and the US; Migrant workers’ rights; The Canadian Wheat Board; The extraction of farmers’ wealth by agricultural corporations.

The conference was hosted by the Vancouver Food Policy Council, and organized by the California-based Community Food Security Coalition and Food Secure Canada.

Deconstructing Dinner was on hand to record the conference


Dena Hoff – ex-ChairNorthern Plains Resource Council (Glendive, Montana) – Dena raises sheep, cattle, alfalfa, corn, and edible dry beans, among other crops, on their farm in Glendive, Montana since 1979. She is an active member of her rural community, serving on the Water Commission and the local food cooperative. She is also active with the National Family Farm Coalition.

Alberto Gomez – National CoordinatorUNORCA (Mexico) – UNORCA (National Union of Autonomous Regional Farmers’ Organizations) is an autonomous, non-profit, and non-partisan network of Mexican campesino and indigenous farming organizations. They are a member of La Via Campesina – the International Peasant Movement. LVC coordinates peasant organizations of small and medium sized producers, agricultural workers, rural women, and indigenous communities from Asia, America, and Europe. It is an autonomous, pluralistic movement, independent from all political, economic, or other denomination.

Carlos Marentes – DirectorBorder Agricultural Workers Project (El Paso, Texas) – The BAWP is an organizing effort initiated by Sin Fronteras Organizing Project as an attempt to help migrant farmworkers improve their wages and their working and living conditions. The majority of the border farmworkers work in the multimillion dollar chile industry of Southern New Mexico.

Karen Pedersen – ex-Womens’ PresidentNational Farmers’ Union (Cut Knife, Saskatchewan) – Karen is a fifth-generation farmer and bee-keeper at Pedersen Apiaries. She spoke on behalf of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), an organization that works toward the development of economic and social policies that will maintain the family farm as the primary food-producing unit in Canada.

Musical Selection (name/title/album/label)
Theme/Soundclip – Adham Shaikh, Infusion, Fusion, Sonic Turtle (CDN)
Soundbite – Nick Ayoub, Saphir, Ready or Not, Do it Right Music (CDN)