Credit: Tony Mucci  

Since I started organic farming more than 40 years ago, I have heard the same claims about the wonders of farmers in the United States: They are unparalleled in their productivity, feed the world with safe food, and are innovative and efficient. From the glowing accounts from industry leaders, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the secretaries of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under every administration, U.S. trade negotiators, and deans of schools of agriculture, you would never know that 44 million people across the nation suffer from food insecurity5 million farms have gone underespecially the farms of people of color—or agriculture is the primary source of pollution for the waters of the U.S.

During the public debates on the Farm Bill every five years—that compendious package of legislation that regulates food and farming—politicians from all camps praise the iconic American farmer and defend proposals that […]

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