Planting Seeds for an Improved Agrifood System? Linking the Aims of the Alternative Agrifood Movement to Executive Action in the First Two Years of the Obama Administration

  • K. Michelle Glowa University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Sarah Carvill University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Costanza Rampini University of California, Santa Cruz
Keywords: Agroecology, Alternative Food Systems, Executive Politics, Neoliberal Governance, Obama Administration, Policy Tools, Social Movement

Abstract

This paper uses several case studies to look at the dialogic relationship between the Obama administration and the alternative agrifood movement. We evaluate the case studies based on criteria developed from the agroecology literature and literature on food security, agrarianism, and the alternative agrifood movement as a whole. Additionally we compare the policy tools utilized and the funding levels of each of the cases. Our findings suggest that the Obama administration is committed to tackling issues of food security and promoting the well-being of small- and mid-scale farmers and their local agrifood economies. Deconsolidation of large agribusiness, equitable trade, and workers' rights do not appear to be high priorities on Obama's food and agriculture agenda, however. Our analysis further indicates that the administration views agriculture and food policy as embedded into a broader socioeconomic and political system. Both the administration and the alternative agrifood movement support the use of capacity-building, symbolic, and incentive tools that emphasize community and individual responsibility. Overall, there is evidence that the alternative agrifood movement and the Obama administration are co-constructing a more community-based food system that simultaneously reflects neoliberal rationale.

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Author Biographies

K. Michelle Glowa, University of California, Santa Cruz
University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 USA; +1-301-908-0641
Sarah Carvill, University of California, Santa Cruz
Department of Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA
Costanza Rampini, University of California, Santa Cruz
Department of Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA
Published
2011-05-26
How to Cite
Glowa, K. M., Carvill, S., & Rampini, C. (2011). Planting Seeds for an Improved Agrifood System? Linking the Aims of the Alternative Agrifood Movement to Executive Action in the First Two Years of the Obama Administration. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 1(3), 31-52. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2011.013.009