Tune in to a special episode of The Farm Report as Erin Fairbanks talks labor and workers rights with author and activist Margaret Gray. Margaret is the winner of the 2014 Association for the Study of Food and Agriculture Book of the Year Award as well as the author of Labor and the Locavore, which focuses on one of the most vibrant local food economies in the country, the Hudson Valley that supplies New York restaurants and farmers markets. Based on more than a decade’s in-depth interviews with workers, farmers, and others, Gray’s examination clearly shows how the currency of agrarian values serves to mask the labor concerns of an already hidden workforce. Margaret also explores the historical roots of farmworkers’ predicaments and examines the ethnic shift from Black to Latino workers. With an analysis that can be applied to local food concerns around the country, this book challenges the reader to consider how the mentality of the alternative food movements implies a comprehensive food ethic that addresses workers’ concerns. Tune in for an incredibly insightful conversation on the state of workers rights in the farming community. This program was brought to you by Heritage Foods USA.
“I never would have anticipated that my book would become a food studies book. It was a little more academically oriented around social movement issues but then I saw an amazing opportunity to have a conversation with people interested in food.” [3:20]
“The farmers I talk to are very explicit [in saying] ‘We don’t want American workers and we don’t want our Latino workers to be Americanized.’ Some of the structural issues are around the way laws are designed and the power dynamics around the farms. ” [21:00]
“The intimacy that we have from buying from small local farmers translates in a way into the relationships those farmers have with their workers.” [22:00]
–Margaret Gray on The Farm Report