JFAN empowers farmers to take action

The Jefferson County Farmers and Neighbors organization held their annual convention Thursday night at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center./KTVO.

Heartland residents and farmers packed the theater inside the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center Thursday night, all for the Jefferson County Farmers and Neighbors annual convention.

This year’s theme was “Breaking the Grip of Corporate Agriculture on Rural Iowa.”

Members of JFAN spoke to the crowd about concentrated animal feeding operations and the infringement of industrial agriculture.

“There’s no reason why we can’t have more farmers producing more food for more people, rather than have a small number of farms and farmers producing the same amount of food for everyone,” said JFAN President and Executive Director Diane Rosenberg.

While many local farmers are worried about corporate agriculture permanently taking away their business, the event’s keynote speaker Alan Guebert thinks otherwise.

“As Iowa and around the Midwest face challenges with CAFOs, and face challenges with too few people, too few jobs, it’ll all change. Again, it’ll all come back around, and I firmly believe that,” said Guebert.

Although Guebert says he thinks corporate agriculture won’t last forever, he still advocates for people to get involved and talk to their state legislatures – a theme prevalent throughout this year’s conference.

Rosenberg says it’s important the people utilize their power.

“They are powerful. That they have the power to stand up and protect their communities and the power to speak out. They have the power to drive what is going on in the state level in our state legislature. They are power if they claim their power,” said Rosenberg.
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