For Immediate Release
Wed. Feb. 20th
The Farm Labor Reality Tour, a two-week caravan across 15 states to unite family farmers and farm laborers across the country in their common quest for fairness, justice and dignity, left Brewer, Maine on Sat. Feb. 15th Led by three grassroots organizations representing small farmers, farmworkers, and food justice activists, Family Farm Defenders, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and Food for Maine’s Future, the tour aims to draw attention to the shared struggles of all people who work in America’s fields.
Itinerary of Events:
Thurs. Feb. 21st
2:00 – 3:00 pm Palermo’s Picket Line (3310 Cass St. in Milwaukee, WI) Tour will join Palermo Pizza Workers who have been on strike since June 1st
of last year, demanding an end to abusive conditions on the job. Info? www.sliceofjustice.com
Thurs. Feb. 21st 5:30 – 7:00 pm Prince of Peace/Princip de Paz Church (1138 S. 25th St. in Milwaukee, WI. Tour will participate in a Town Hall meeting with U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, mobilizing support for immigration legislation that includes a path to citizenship. This is also the kickoff event for the Great Lakes Bus Tour for Immigrant Rights. Info? 414-643-1620 Ext. 208
La Crosse, WI:
Fri. Feb. 22nd
All Day La Crosse Center (300 Harbor View Plaza in La Crosse, WI) Tour will participate in workshops, forums, and conversations at the Organic Farming Conference – the largest such conference in North America. Info? http://www.mosesorganic.org/conference.html
Sat. Feb. 23rd 12:00 Noon – 2:00 pm La Crosse Center – Orange Room ( As part of the Organic Farming Conference, the tour will hold a panel discussion titled: Beyond Organic – The Farm Labor Reality Tour. Panelists will include: Bob St. Peter, Food for Maine’s Future; Joel Greeno, Family Farm Defenders; John Peck, Family Farm Defenders; John Kinsman, Family Farm Defenders; Patty Lovera, Food and Water Watch
Sun. Feb. 24th All Day Greeno Family Farm (31863 Lumber Ave, Kendall, WI) Join the farm labor reality tour for a workday on the family farm of Joel and Laura Greeno. Help milk the cows, clean the barn, chop wood, and see what life is all about in Rural America. Info? #608-344-0564
Twin Cities, MN:
Mon. Feb 25th 6:00 pm – Macalester College, Chapel Basement (1600 Grand Avenue, Saint Paul, MN) Tour will host a community forum. Panelists include: Ernesto Velez Bustos- Director of Centro Campesino, Latino-led migrant and immigrant worker organization; Jim Goodman- Wisconsin Organic Dairy Farmer, Member of Scenic Central Cooperative and Family Farm Defenders; Bob St. Peter -Family Farmer and Organizer for Food for Maine’s Future; Michael Chaney – Director and Organizer for Urban farmers in Minneapolis, Project Sweetie Pie. Info? 612-916-9148 Or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/211144129027517/
Tues. Feb. 26th
7:00 – 9:00 am Christ Luther Church on Capitol Hill (105 Univ. Ave. West in St. Paul Tour will join the Land Stewardship Project’s Family Farm Breakfast & Day at the Capitol. Info? http://landstewardshipproject.org/events/item/114
Tues. Feb 26th 6:00 pm – Minnehaha Free Space (3747 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis, MN) Tour will host a community forum: Panelists include: Rebecca Goodman- Wisconsin Organic Dairy Farmer, Member of Scenic Central Cooperative and Family Farm Defenders; Bob St. Peter – Family Farmer and Organizer for Food for Maine’s Future; Jose Luis Villaseñor – Director and Organizer for Tamales y Bicicletas; Chrissy Sierra – Student Farmworker Alliance, Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Info? 612-916-9148 or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/211144129027517/
Wed. Feb. 27th 12:00 noon – Land o’Lakes Annual Meeting, Hilton Hotel (1001 Marquette Ave., Minneapolis, MN) Speak Out Against Agribusiness and Corporate Cooperatives – Help Tell Land o’Lakes It Needs to Pay Dairy Farmers a Living Wage! Informational leaflet and delivery of citizen petitions to Land O Lakes board. To sign the petition online visit:
Thurs. Feb. 28th 5:30 pm Vanderbilt Univ. – exact location TBA (2201 West End Ave. in Nashville, TN) Tour will host a community discussion. Info? #901-270-9814
“The people who grow food for this country – be they independent family farmers or farmworkers – are not getting paid a fair wage for their work. That has to change,” said Wisconsin dairy farmer Joel Greeno of Wisconsin-based Family Farm Defenders. The organization was inspired by the success of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ consumer-oriented “penny more per pound” Fair Food Campaign, which has won agreements for higher wages and improved working conditions from some of the biggest fast food companies in the world.
Family Farm Defenders has launched a similar effort — the Land O’Fakes campaign –which calls on consumers to demand that Land O’Lakes pay its member farmers a living wage for their milk. Land O’ Lakes is a dairy cooperative, but as one of the biggest dairy processors in the nation, it has dramatically driven down the price farmers are paid. Consumers are asked to demand that Land O’ Lakes stop manipulating dairy prices through speculative trading and stop pushing costly genetically modified hormones and seeds on their member farmers.
The Farm Labor Reality Tour will conclude in Immokalee, Florida, on March 2 to begin a two-week, 175-mile March for Rights, Respect, and Fair Food led by the CIW. The march is expected to draw together thousands of people to call on grocery giant Publix to help end farmworker exploitation and support the innovative Fair Food Program – a unique collaboration between Florida’s tomato growers, major retailers, and farmworkers, setting the standard for social accountability in the domestic produce industry by ensuring respect for farmworkers’ rights and dignity.
The Farm Labor Reality Tour is coordinated by a coalition of grassroots farm labor organizations with support from WhyHunger. To get involved or join the tour, contact Bob St. Peter (contact info below). Supportive organizations are also invited to send letters of support for the tour, the Land O’Fakes campaign, and/or the CIW March for Rights, Respect, and Fair Food.
Financial contributions to help with video documentation, travel scholarships for people or groups who want to join the Farm Labor Reality Tour, and the Land O Fakes campaign are also most welcome.
You can make a tax exempt donation to Family Farm Defenders in support of the caravan through Razoo!
Press coverage of the tour so far: