An analysis of farm labor depiction: Is the local food movement perpetuating farmworker injustice? Public Deposited

The food system is made up of a diverse labor pool. Those responsible for growing food are known by many different terms. Within the local food movement there is a major focus on knowing your farmer. This research helps identify the importance of farm labor so that future policies and local food initiatives can integrate more equitable and sustainable practices. The results from my inquiry help to provide an in-depth evaluation of how scholars and the USDA describe labor. I argue that when creating policies and practices that support the sustainability of local food, both farmworkers and farmers need to be included. I examine two questions: (1) According to scholars, how do diverse initiatives within the local food movement depict farmworkers and farmers? (2) How does the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF) initiative depict farmworkers and farmers? I use discourse analysis to detail the history of the local food movement, the different representations of farmworkers and farmers, and how social justice should be linked to farm labor. Analysis methods include utilizing a discourse analysis with a scoping review to assess and collect data.  I conclude with several recommendations to address labor within the local food movement; including: the definition of local needs to be expanded to establish the necessity of labor and ensure equal depiction of farmworkers and farmers so that local food initiatives include the concept of social justice.

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