CAGJ Monthly E-Newsletter | SEPTEMBER 6, 2023

17th Annual SLEE!
Tanzania Report-Back
CAGJ goes to Farm Aid
Rich Appetites Accepted at Film Festivals
La Via Campesina International Day of Action
Support Fair Credit for Farmers Act
Support Farmland for Farmers Act
Ban irresponsible aquaculture in WA
2023 Farm Bill Platform
AFSA Press Release: “No Decision About Us Without Us!”
Local events


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SLEE is less than 2 months away! Buy your tickets today!

SAT October 14, 5-9:30PM
CAGJ's 17th Annual SLEE! Dinner - Strengthening Local Economies, Everywhere!

Location: St Demetrios Church, 2100 Boyer Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112

Volunteers & Interns needed to help organize SLEE, and the day-of! If you are interested in beoming a Food Justice event intern, or volunteering before, or at the event (as a server, auction helper, child-care, bartender, set-up & clean-up), please check out our SLEE Volunteer Opportunities, and email Noel.

Keynote: Malik Kenyatta Yakini, “Black Food Sovereignty, Local to Global" Executive Director of Detroit Black Community Food Security Network

Tickets: Purchase on CAGJ’s website
Sliding scale $40-$200: Please be generous in your support! We want to make this event accessible to everyone while also recognizing the need for us to raise crucial funds. Purchase a second ticket to ensure that local farmers, farmworkers and food organizers can be honored guests at our event. If you are unable to afford a full-price ticket, please contact Noel for Solidarity Tickets.

Table Captains: Bring Friends & Family to SLEE!
Table Captains fill a table for 10 people, and provide CAGJ with important seed funds for our organizing. You can choose between buying a table for your guests, or asking them to buy tickets individually. If you have questions or would like to become a Table Captain, please email Noel.


AFSA Pan-African Seed Governance Conference in Tanzania
AGRA Watch Keynote & Rich Appetites Film Screening
In August, AGRA Watch Co-Chair Bill Aal and Heather Day traveled to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to participate in the 2nd Pan-African Seed Governance conference organized by AFSA (Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa). We were honored to give a keynote in which we discussed AGRA Watch research (report forthcoming) about the Gates Foundation, AGRA and Microsoft’s troubling partnership to promote digitalization of agriculture and capture of land, seeds, and farmers' knowledge for profit. We were also thrilled to host our first film screening on the continent of “Rich Appetites”! We joined representatives from 27 African countries who collectively explored three themes: exploration of new biotechnologies and their implications for Africa’s seed sovereignty; the pivotal role of Farmer Managed Seed Systems (FMSS) in ensuring Africa’s food sovereignty; Forging continental synergies for robust seed sovereignty policies. In their final statement, the Seed Working Group of AFSA proclaimed, “Recognizing the role of women as seed custodians, the cultural-spiritual ties of seeds, and the foregrounding work of Peasants and farmers movements around the world, we have met to galvanize greater action for political and policy prioritization of farmer managed seed systems and farmers’ rights on the continent.” Read the full Report-back!
SAT Sept 23
CAGJ Goes to Farm Aid with National Family Farm Coalition!
With generous support from National Family Farm Coalition, CAGJ Director Heather Day and Organizer Noel Lum are traveling to Indiana for Farm Aid! Farm Aid is reknown for being a fantastic concert, including Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and Margo Price. It is also an organization that works year-round to build a system of agriculture that values family farmers, good food, soil and water, and strong communities. Their annual music and food festival celebrates farmers, eaters and music coming together for change. We're excited to be joined by several Block Corporate Salmon leaders, including CAGJ member Carl Wassilie, who recently represented us at NFFC's annual summer gathering.
Rich Appetites Films Accepted into 4 Film Festivals!
Announcing Film Study Guides for Educators
Next month our AGRA Watch film series, “Rich Appetites: How Big Philanthropy is Shaping the Future of Food in Africa” will be screened at the Awareness Film Festival in California! The fims have also been accepted to three other festivals: Association of American Geographers, International Social Change Festival and Whistleblower Film Festival. We also hope to be accepted to Africa Film for Impact Festival, taking place in Abuja, Nigeria, and were honored to have our film “Science” solicited to enter The Global Sustainability Film Awards, to take place in London in November! AGRA Watch recently launched film study guides for educators - contact us for more info.
SUN Sept 10th
La Via Campesina: International Day of Action Against the WTO and Free Trade Agreements
It has been twenty years since the World Trade Organization’s imperialist, neoliberal and neo-colonial free trade policies led to the sacrifice of peasant leader Lee Kyung Hae at the gates of the Ministerial meeting venue in Cancun, Mexico. During the last WTO Ministerial meeting in Geneva in 2022, La Via Campesina declared that the time had come to dismantle the WTO, discard the Agreement on Agriculture, put an end to harmful free trade agreements and establish a new trade framework for global agricultural trade based on principles of food sovereignty, solidarity, and internationalism. For this reason, as we commemorate the International Day of Action against the WTO and Free Trade Agreements on September 10th, La Via Campesina will intensify this struggle for an alternative. Read more.


Support Fair Credit for Farmers Act
RAFI Action Alert: Fair Access to Credit for Farmers
Access to credit is an essential tool for farmers to access land, yearly operating funds, and the ability to grow and strengthen their businesses—and the Farm Service Agency is an essential agricultural lender, the place farmers can go when other lenders deny them loans. All farmers deserve fair treatment at the Farm Service Agency, but unfortunately this has not always happened: we have seen a lot of bad treatment and injustice in the course of our financial casework with farmers. Farmers encounter obstacles and delay as they seek loans, and often have to put up their homes as collateral in order to have their loans approved.

The Fair Credit for Farmers Act (S. 2668) will improve access and accountability in the FSA loan application and appeals process. It seeks a fundamental shift in the dynamic between farmers and FSA, to a relationship where farmers have protections and can be co-equal partners with FSA staff in seeking farm success.  

Take Action:

  1. Click here to ask your legislators to support farmers’ access to credit and co-sponsor the Fair Credit for Farmers Act!
  2. Learn more: Read NFFC’s 2 page fact sheet.
Support Farmland for Farmers Act
Who do you want to control U.S. farmland - the local family farmers who feed us and give back to their local communities, or corporate investors seeking to extract profits? Unfortunately, farmers looking to purchase farmland face steep competition, and young and beginning farmers name land access as their top challenge. High land prices tip the scales in favor of corporate buyers, who have millions or even billions of dollars in capital and can easily outbid independent producers. Corporations often use methods that prey on farmers in financial crisis, encouraging rural landowners to give up their land in exchange for quick cash. It’s time to stop this trend.

Take Action:

  1. Click here to ask your legislators to support the Farmland for Farmers Act in the 2023 Farm Bill!
  2. Learn more: Read 2 page fact sheet and the reports that inspired the Act: Selling out the Delta, and Tracking Speculative Farmland Ownership: Good Data is Hard to Find.


Ban irresponsible aquaculture in WA waters and beyond
August 22, 2023 -  Seattle Times Op-Ed by Carl Wassillie, Block Corporate Salmon
On Aug. 19, 2017, a salmon farm pen near Cypress Island collapsed, spilling as many as 263,000 nonnative Atlantic salmon into the Salish Sea —  the inland marine waters of Washington and British Columbia — creating an immediate ecological threat. Cooke Aquaculture, the multinational corporation owning the farm, promptly lied about the catastrophe, reporting that only a few thousand fish escaped. On the anniversary of this preventable disaster, we say “no more mistakes” when it comes to industrial aquaculture in state and federal waters. The 2017 spill was a sobering reminder that we cannot afford to overlook the risks posed by large-scale feedlots in our oceans, and that profit-hungry corporations cannot be counted on to act in the public’s best interests. Read the full Op-Ed.
2023 Farm Bill Platform
As a member of the National Family Farm Coalition, CAGJ endorsed NFFC’s NEW 2023 Farm Bill Platform. The platform includes top policy priorities that underscore our shared dedication to family farmers, ranchers, and their communities, NOT corporate profits. The 2023 Farm Bill is a key opportunity to level the playing field for family farmers, creating a path to more resilient communities. Together, we call on legislators to pass a just Farm Bill that removes barriers to accessing land, credit, and debt relief for young and historically underserved farmers, while supporting fair prices for all family farmers. Click here to read the full platform. Listen to The Farm Bill Uprooted Podcast to learn more; Episodes two - four cover pollution and the toll on the environment, climate and farmers; how the Farm Bill Credit Title both undermines climate resilience and reinforces racism; and the impact of consolidation of the food and farm system. Listen to the full series here.
PRESS RELEASE: “No Decision About Us Without Us!”
August 30, 2023 - AFSA
AGRA, until recently known as The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa — is holding its annual Summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania this week. Branded as ‘the Africa Food Systems Summit’, the event brings together agribusiness leaders, experts, policymakers, and representatives from various sectors of the food industry. At a virtual press conference on 30 August, the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) and its collaborators, representing hundreds of small-scale food producer groups across Africa, rejected the validity of the AGRA Forum. They highlighted the silenced narratives of those at the heart of Africa’s agriculture: its farmers. 
Why we protest AGRA's annual forum
Learn more: Read the full press release. Watch the press conference. Read the Opinion piece in Al Jazeera: Feeding big agribusiness, starving Africans: Industrial agriculture has failed to eliminate food insecurity in Africa. It is time for a radically different approach, by Tim Wise (IATP) and Mutinta Ntekani (Zambian Alliance for Agroecology and Biodiversity). Read Op-Ed by Anne Maina (BIBA Kenya), Abandon the disastrous green revolution model.


SUN Sept 3, 12-5PM
Nourish: A Black + POC Farmer's Market
All of the produce from Black + POC vendors will be offered for FREE to all visitors (while supplies last). Along with a fantastic array of fresh produce, there will be live workshops and demonstrations ranging from beverage and cooking classes to plant repotting from our friends including Nurturing Roots, Cafe Avole, One Vibe Africa, and Black Origin Plants. More info.
SAT Sept 16, 10am - 3pm
Tilth Alliance Farm Fest at Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands
Join the Tilth Alliance for Farm Fest at Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands, a celebration of urban agriculture and the Southeast Seattle community! Hosted in partnership with Friends of Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands and Nurturing Roots, this event is free and open to the public. More info.
SAT Sept 23, 1 - 4pm
For the People: Annual Fundraiser and Celebration
We are pleased to partner with our friends at For The People for their annual fundraiser “Affinity” on Saturday, Sept 23 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m at the Heron’s Nest in West Seattle. FTP chose “Affinity” as their theme this year because they wish to bring together all who have an affinity for defending Mother Earth. This fun-filled event will feature local performers, tabling from community orgs, and speeches from FTP organizers as well as special guest speakers. Tickets are available on a sliding scale from For The People’s website. Check out the Facebook event page here.

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Community Alliance for Global Justice
SEATTLE, WA 98144-5184