Ally Support Letter

Join Farmers, Fishers, Farmworkers in Open Letter to Universities: Support Real Food!

This February, students took unprecedented action to demand that universities commit to a real food economy. We declared that we have #NoGroundToLose in the struggle for a truly just, sustainable, healthy food system. Universities must acknowledge their complicity in the broken food system, and step up to the opportunity to commit to change by committing to real food.

Our farmer, fisherman, and farmworker allies have written a letter supporting student campaigns, and calling on universities to commit to real food.

Food producers, farmworkers, eaters, and food movement leaders: add your name! Join us in fighting for a real food system!


Dear University Presidents

  • President Susan Hunter, University of Maine
  • President Harris Pastides, University of South Carolina
  • Chancellor Carol Folt, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
  • President Michael Drake, The Ohio State University
  • President Jere Morehead, University of Georgia
  • President Eric Kaler, University of Minnesota
  • President Raynard Kington, Grinnell College
  • President Ana Mari Cauce, University of Washington
  • President Bruce Shepherd, Western Washington University

We are farmers, ranchers, fishers, and farmworkers who work hard to feed our neighbors and nation.

We applaud the students who are campaigning for a real food policy, and we urge you to join them by signing the Real Food Campus Commitment now.  The need is urgent!

In recent decades, increasing consolidation in the food industry, racial and gender discrimination, and policies that privilege big companies over family farmers and fishermen have driven hundreds of thousands of producers out of business and suppressed wages.

It’s time for our public institutions to be part of the solution, not the problem. It’s time for you to join the University of Oklahoma, Johns Hopkins University, and 80 other institutions who are investing a portion of their cafeteria dollars in local, fair, and sustainable agriculture and fisheries. When big buyers like universities help support fair prices and create open and competitive markets, we thrive!

Expanding the base of food producers is critical, not just to us but to a growing world population whose very survival rests on the health of the soils and oceans that we carefully steward.

There are two kinds of people in the world, a saying goes: the farmers and fishermen, and those who depend on them.  Now we, farmers, fishermen and food producers of all kinds -- and future generations on this Earth -- are depending on your leadership.


Carmen Black, Sun Dog Farm, Solon, IA
Ben Burkett, Indian Springs Farmers Cooperative Association, Petulama, MS
Mike Callicrate, Ranch Foods Direct, Colorado Springs, CO
Marita Canedo, Migrant Justice, Burlington, VT
Shannon Eldredge, Chatham Fish Weirs Enterprises, Chatham, MA
Warren Taylor, Snowville Creamery, Pomeroy, OH

Will you endorse?