This article discusses a Green New Deal for agriculture, discussing the history of the New Deal, and how it matters for rural America today. Agriculture policy in the original New Deal sprang from a heady mix of class struggle and uneasy alliances. The Green New Deal will have to stitch together a different coalition that can challenge the dominant mode of agriculture and create a more just food system.
The food system is breaking the planet. Nearly a quarter of anthropogenic greenhouse gases are driven by how we eat, and it’s impossible to tackle climate change without transforming agriculture. So the Green New Deal is wise to call for “a more sustainable food system that ensures universal access to healthy food.” Better yet, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey’s proposal includes a call to work “collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector.”