MILE HIGH Farmers
Statement of Solidarity
Mile High Farmers stands in solidarity with the movement for Black lives and against the brutality of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and Trans bodies by the police. We stand with protestors exercising their constitutional right to assemble, speak freely and petition their government for redress of systematic insecurity and injustice. We stand against any form of rhetorical or physical violence being perpetrated against them.
Within the food system millions of people daily navigate an apartheid system marked by racial injustice creating food insecurity for many vulnerable populations.
Our current system has been built on the backs of stolen labor from Africa and land stolen from indigenous peoples across the Americas.
This system today relies on often exploited immigrants for its agricultural labor. According to Farmworker Justice as many as 70% of farm laborers are immigrants who labor within a system that designates them “illegal but essential laborers”.
This system is coming increasingly to rely on prison labor, which is 40% Black and 19% Latinx, to fill 30,000 jobs in agriculture and related food systems industries while making about a dollar a day.
These complex histories and current experiences are traumatic.
As producers we are committed to regenerative practices on the land and in our communities. We are committed to equity in access to food and to creating a more equitable food system for those who have been marginalized within the current system.We are committed to working across boundaries and barriers to be agents of positive change in the food system itself. Many of us are ourselves from those same groups experiencing marginalization in other areas of the system, and we recognize that the work of BIPOC people in agriculture is itself radical.
We believe in our capacity to leverage this moment of profound systemic change to bring profound changes in our food system. As small and medium sized growers we recognize that we exist within communities. We don’t dominate them and view our relationships in community as assets.
We recognize that we have critical work to do to advocate and fight for an equitable food system. A more equitable system would take into account the land theft from Blacks and Indigenous groups that consolidated agricultural land into white hands. A more equitable food system would recognize and adequately value the labor of women and immigrants. It would end the practice of using incarcerated individuals as agricultural workers. This system would respect and value the food those hands produce. A more equitable system would expand access to land and capital to farmers who have historically been denied. A more equitable food system would invigorate urban and rural communities who confront poverty and the stark choice of paying for food versus rent.
Finally an equitable food system benefits farmers and communities. We know that the land has the ability to heal trauma. Thus, many of our members embed education in their programming, regularly invite the participation of volunteers and community members, and use community input and knowledge to guide their farm principles.
Mile High Farmers is committed to being a part of the creation of an equitable food system. We honor the ancestral knowledge and contemporary expertise of BIPOC people. We honor the long struggle of movement building and the use of food as a tool for radical liberation throughout history. We look to the leadership of BIPOC people in building a food system where everyone is able to thrive and one that affirms that Black Lives Matter.
Mile High Farmers
SUPPORt OUR STATEMENt of Solidariy
I / We are in support of the Mile High Farmers Solidarity Statement.
Mile High Farmers supports and will advocate for farm and food policy that advances the liberation of all farmers and BiPOC producers in particular. Click below to read full listing.
Larimer County Farmers Alliance
Flatirons Young Farmers Coalition
BronzeVille: Black and Brown Growers Collective
National Young Farmers Coalition, Erin Foster West
Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council, Kristin Lacy
Naropa University, Ramon Parish
Farm-to-Prison, Jasmine Krapf
LiveWell Colorado, Terri Livermore
Denver Urban Gardens, Hannah Buchenau and Judy Elliot
Frontline Farming: Salvador Gonzalez and Óscar J Vital
Wadada Arts Foundation Farm, JaSon Auguste
Village Exchange Center, Kassandra Neiss
Big Green, Kelsey Gray
Bountiful by Design, John Michael Harrigan
Well Fed Farmstead, Ryan Ericson
GoFarm Coop, Katie Huszcza
Free Range Flowers, Celeste Monke
Emerald Gardens, Roberto Meza
Backyard Farm LLC, Leandr
Baling Twine Recycling, Laura Tyler
Native Hill Farm, Lasha Guillen
Chinok Fund, Crystal Middlestadt
National Farm to School Network, Helen Dombalis
Sprout City Farms, Meg Caley
Ekar Farms, Sue Salinger
Jesus Salvador Gonzalez Meza