Welcome to our new Fair Farms Campaign Manager!

Hello, my name is Humon and I’m excited to join the Fair Farms campaign team this month as the newest Campaign Manager. When I Iearned about Fair Farms, I thought this is great — a campaign that uplifts visionary farmers and works on policy to lead us to a system that protects our lands and waters and creates markets for locally grown healthy food.

I became interested in the intersection of advocacy and agriculture as a farmer at ECO City Farms and a volunteer for the Prince George’s County Food Equity Council. A lesson that sparked this interest was from my farm manager— “it is easy to grow food but it is hard to sell it.” Later I worked for the Vermont Farm Bureau as a Legislative Assistant and contributed articles for Food & Power.

After a little more work experience, reading and listening I started to ask myself: Why do rural towns and urban cities have little to no access to fresh produce? Why is it so hard for farm workers to make a living wage? Why are there so few black and brown farmers? What happened to all the farm and ranch families? How can conservationists and farmers work together?

When it comes to environmental issues I know that there can be tension between farmers and conservationists but I believe that farmers were the original conservationists. Farmers protect the soil and water for their crops and livestock. They protect their land for future generations. We can all learn from them.

Different interest groups and institutions at times try to divide farmers. Yet, the only way to protect farmer livelihoods and our food system is to put aside our differences and push ourselves to have uncomfortable conversations with people different from ourselves. We are all in this together and we all need to find our own ways to protect the future of farming and the health of our communities.

I am not a farmer anymore and I don’t pretend to be one. I do not have all the answers and I also struggle to have these difficult conversations.

What I do have is experience in advocacy and a curiosity to learn from the different people around me that make up our community. I am willing to listen and work with anyone, even those who don’t always agree with what I have to say.

Please know that you can always send me your questions and ideas on how Fair Farms can help you as farmers, business owners and consumers.

For Fair Farms,

Humon Heidarian