East of Salinas

  • East of Salinas takes us to the heart of California’s “Steinbeck Country,” to meet a bright young boy and his dedicated teacher — both sons of migrant farm workers. With parents working long hours in the fields, third grader Jose Ansaldo often turns to his teacher, Oscar Ramos, for guidance. But Jose is undocumented; he was born in Mexico. Like many other migrant children, he is beginning to understand his situation — and the opportunities that may be lost to him through no fault of his own.


Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields

  • Ground Operations is an award-winning (40 min) documentary that chronicles the growing network of combat veterans who are becoming organic farmers, pastured livestock ranchers, beekeepers, chefs, permaculturists, hydroponic urban farmers and food entrepreneurs. Veterans are uniquely suited to the challenges and demands of food production. What it takes to be a good soldier is akin to what it takes to be a successful farmer: Self-discipline, ability to work in all weather and conditions, physical prowess, quick decision making, over-coming obstacles, risk management, strategic thinking and a desire to serve their country. Veterans are strengthening American food security, one farm at a time.



An Unwinnable Tournament? Prospects for Poultry Growers in a Season of Regulatory Reform, Vanessa Zboreak, Wake Forest University School of Law Professor of the Practice.


  • USDA published the Farmer Fair Practices Rules in December 2016, which would have protected contract poultry growers from discriminatory industry practices and strengthened protections for small farmers under antitrust law. Poultry growers who had seen some potential relief on the horizon are now left in limbo as the future of the FFP rules is uncertain. This presentation will explore the legal and regulatory prospects for poultry growers and discuss the significance of the FFP rules.


Domestic Fair Trade and Decent Work: Connecting Agricultural Frameworks, Erika Inwald, National Coordinator, Domestic Fair Trade Association & Michelle Miller, CIAS Associate Director, Univ of WI - Madison

  • Market demand for regional values-based food is relatively strong, yet mid-size farmers remain price takers rather than price makers in most supply chains. Domestic Fair Trade and Decent Work offer strategies for securing labor for values-based supply chains, especially if there are multiple improvements made through markets and public policy to support regional food production. This poster explores these concepts and presents the joint project of the Domestic Fair Trade Association and the UW Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems.


Reassessing the role of ‘escape crops’: How will monocropping Cassava affect Indigenous Wellbeing within the Caribbean Community?, Mark Chatarpal, Indiana University, Bloomington & IU Food Institute Associate Instructor & PhD Student

  • Agrarian scholars like James Scott (2009) and Sidney Mintz (1996) argued that cassava (Maniot eshculenta) functioned as a resilient ‘escape crop’ among the rural peasantry. I argue, that this narrative has shifted quite dramatically within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) due to China’s recent offer to purchase tubers. With cassava on the verge of becoming a new monocrop, my research examines the long term impact on indigenous wellbeing, especially with the introduction of mechanized cassava harvesting.


Regional Intensive Agriculture in Argentina. Impact on the organization of work under a context of low profitability in fruit crops, Author: Maria Beatriz Pugliese, Researcher and Projects Coordinator in the National Institute of Agriculture Technology & Co- Author: Jimena Andrieu,  Researcher and Professor,  National Institute of Agriculture Technology and Agricultural Economics at the National University of San Juan.  

  • We will show the impact on the organization of work (labor) under a context of low profitability in fruit crops. In several Argentine provinces, fruit crops play an important role because it supplies both the local and export market. As researchers, we will show our research work on different technologies and management to down the production cost and make a competitive product to generate transformations on the productive structure and the reorganization of the work.


Regulatory Requirements for Early-Career Labor and Emerging Entrepreneurs in the Current Food Safety Regulatory Landscape, Aliyar Fouladkhah Assistant Professor, Tennessee State University

  • Signed into law in 2011, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the most comprehensive legislation related to safety of U.S. food manufacturing and agricultural production in more than 70 years. The information would be of particular importance for early-career labor and emerging entrepreneurs, enhancing the prospect of expanding their careers and operations, which otherwise would have to remain low in profit in order to stay inside the FSMA exemption “box.”   


Time-and-a-half: Balancing Equity and Viability on Small Farms, Jack Hornickel, Business Planning and Legal Specialist, GrowNYC

  • This poster will explore the legal and economic context of farmworker overtime, comparing state law from California, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, and New York. The presenter has created a sensitivity analysis tool for New York State farm owners that measures the financial impact of a time-and-a-half wage rate, and how that compares to other farm owners in their county and crop market. The poster will expose the raw data that informs legislators, farm owners, advocates, and farm workers alike.


The UN's Sustainable Development Goals and International Agricultural Labor: Combining Agroecology and Food Sovereignty to Decentralize Food Systems, Shelby Wilkerson, Student, Tufts University.

  • Agroecology and food sovereignty are vital for the functioning of food systems and should be legally protected through the Right to Food and its premise of food sovereignty in international trade. Agroecological protection severed from economic goals and in line with the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be at the forefront of Regional Trade Agreement negotiations that facilitate decentralization of food systems that cause market distortions and unfair labor practices. This poster will illustrate the trade network and the most promising factors that could be changed under the food sovereignty and agroecology frameworks under the UN’s SDGs.




Advocating for Decent Work in American Food Systems, Leah Varsano, Research Fellow, Oxfam

  • Oxfam is a global movement of people working together to end the injustice of poverty and hold the powerful accountable. Oxfam has worked with organizations advocating for farm workers around the world, supporting efforts to improve working and living conditions, raise wages, win the right to organize, and raise the voices of the workers themselves. In 2015, Oxfam America launched a campaign to expose the human cost of the American poultry industry.


Conquering common labor challenges in the Culinary Training Program, Timothy Tucker, Chef, Salvation Army

  • The Culinary Arts Training Program is a 10-week course serving the Dorchester/Roxbury community for students in need. It teaches knife skills, food terminology, kitchen safety standards, recipes, and effective work performance. Our strong community partnerships help place graduates with top chefs in their local communities and beyond. At the program’s heart is a belief in healing lives from the inside out. That starts with fresh, healthy, mindfully prepared food.


Salvation Farms' Vermont Commodity Program: Workforce Development through Surplus Crop Management, Julia Scheier, Operations Director, Salvation Farms

  • Salvation Farms will highlight our sixteen-week job training program that engages individuals who face barriers to employment. Trainees receive, clean, quality assess, and ship Vermont grow crops that would otherwise go uneaten. Crop handling is complimented by classroom time focused on food safety and workplace safety bringing elements from across the food system into the training. Our exhibit will tell a visual story of the job training program and include pamphlets for individuals to take.


Subsistence Depression in Alaska: Who Gets Paid?, Nina Vizcarrondo, Alaska Native Sisterhood 2nd Vice President, Camp 4

  • Due to climate change, marine animal migration and spawning patterns are changing faster than we can understand. In 2016, Alaska commercial fishermen requested a disaster compensation to Governor Walker who then applied to the Department of Commerce for a Disaster Relief Fund to pay for the pink salmon who failed to run. But who pays and how will modern day hunter gatherers in Alaska get paid for the combination of climate change and overfishing occurring?