National Network Equity Statement
CalCAN and the National Network strive for an equitable distribution of agriculture conservation resources. Soil health and other conservation programs should be designed and implemented to improve access and impact for historically underserved farmers and ranchers. Specifically, this includes small and medium-scale farmers, people with low-income/low wealth, people of color, and women.
White farmers currently own 98% of the private farmland in the U.S., controlling the land use decisions and farming practices used on almost 900 billion acres. Many are unfamiliar with the history of agriculture in the United States that brought this inequity about, including the nation’s legacy of enslavement, land theft and the exploitation of immigrant labor. The institutional structures in place continue to confer benefit to those who hold land and wealth. Furthermore, the historic and present-day experience and knowledge of indigenous and agrarian cultures around the world have been undervalued or ignored, or in some cases appropriated without attribution.
Present-day white agricultural land owners—and the organizations that serve and support them—have a critical role to play in bringing about a more equitable food and farming system. Together, we can build power to address the climate crisis, create thriving rural communities, improve environmental stewardship and improve human health, particularly for people of color who are disproportionately impacted by climate change and agricultural pollution.
Toward this end, we are committed to :
Partnering with all farmers and ranchers, including farmers and ranchers of color, to identify solutions to both inequity and the climate crisis
Challenge policies that perpetuate systems of oppression and inequities in agricultural conservation
Advance policies and technical assistance resources that prioritize small and medium-scale and systematically disenfranchised farmers who are most vulnerable to climate impacts and may lack the resources to transition to more resilient practices.
Create an open and transparent process for continual feedback and improvement in our work.
Ensure that historically underserved producers have a voice in resource allocation decisions because those most directly and disproportionately impacted by structural barriers are often the best suited to propose solutions that will work.
To attribute and acknowledge whenever possible the importance of indigenous knowledge in providing the foundation for present-day approaches to climate-resilient agriculture.
Continually question assumptions about what is possible, necessary and who should participate.
We do this work humbly and with gratitude for those who came before us and continue to provide examples and teachings of Traditional Ecological Knowledge that are more pertinent now than ever.
Last update: 12/28/23