Jim Goodman

Jim Goodman

Jim Goodman is a retired organic dairy farmer, board member of Family Farm Defenders, and board president of National Family Farm Coalition. He and his wife, Rebecca, ran a 45-cow organic dairy and direct-market beef farm in southwest Wisconsin for 40 years. His farming roots trace back to his great-grandparents’ immigration from Ireland during the famine and the farm’s original purchase in 1848. A farm activist, Jim credits more than 150 years of failed farm and social policy as his motivation to advocate for a farmer-controlled consumer-oriented food system.

Made in the USA woman worker power on back of sweatshirt strong

This year, Labor Day is more relevant than ever

By: - September 4, 2023

On Labor Day, first designated as a national holiday in 1894, we commemorate the union movement, the demand for an eight hour work day, better working conditions, fair wages and an end to child labor.  Gender equality, racial equality, fair farm prices and farm worker rights are separate issues but all related to the struggle […]

Red barn, rural landscape, silos, farm field

What’s missing from discussion of the Farm Bill

By: - August 23, 2023

The Farm Bill, an omnibus five year bill dealing with farm and food programs, ultimately affects everyone in Wisconsin. Whether you farm, eat, depend on food assistance programs, or just like to breathe clean air or have access to clean water, the Farm Bill affects you. Republican Congressman Derrick Van Orden hosted a Farm Bill […]

A farmer plants corn into a cover crop of barley. Tractor equipment shown planting

Corporate profits outweigh health, culture and livelihood 

By: - March 13, 2023

As farmers in Wisconsin and across the Corn Belt make planting decisions, the question always on their minds is, will income cover their expenses? The price farmers all over the world are paid is determined by the global marketplace. With Mexico being one of the biggest buyers of U.S. corn, Mexico’s planned ban on imports […]

Wisconsin Capitol with flag, tractors farmers protest Square

We should all aspire to be peasants

By: and - August 4, 2022

Rising food prices — as the USDA has forecast for 2022 — may seem like a good thing for farmers. After all, who wouldn’t like to see some more cash? Farmers, like everyone else, have been through a lot lately. Years of stagnant or falling farm income in many ways paralleled the stagnant wages of […]

Former (and possibly future) Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack moderates a panel of former Secretaries of Agriculture at the 2012 Agricultural Outlook Forum, “Moving Agriculture Forward” in Arlington, VA on Feb. 23, 2012.

For farmers, Biden’s Ag pick of Tom Vilsack is déjà vu all over again

By: - December 21, 2020

In 2009 Tom Vilsack was among five of President Obama’s cabinet nominees to be confirmed by unanimous consent of the U.S. Senate. That he was a non-controversial pick for United States Department of Agriculture Secretary (USDA) spoke to the fact that, like his predecessors in previous administrations, his strong ties to corporate agribusiness made him […]

Dueling signs on land where Jim. Goodman once raised his cows (Photo by Jim Goodman)

How rural Wisconsin became so divided

By: - October 30, 2020

My father was born in 1903 and in his 92 years he saw the trans­for­ma­tion of farm­ing — from hors­es to trac­tors, hand labor to mech­a­niza­tion — that occurred in the 20th cen­tu­ry. I farmed that same Wis­con­sin land for 40 years and in that span of time I, too, saw dra­mat­ic changes in the eco­nom­ic sta­bil­i­ty, social struc­ture, […]

Cows graze on the Tranel Family Farm, Organic Valley farmer-member (photo courtesy of Organic Valley)

Make a resilient, localized food system part of the next stimulus

By: and - May 26, 2020

From wasted food, to the exploitation of farmworkers, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it painfully clear that this country’s food system must be changed. Politicians must pass further stimulus legislation that includes policy to reform our inflexible, consolidated system and to prepare for future crises.   Consider the many problems in the meat industry. Workers ill […]

farmworkers in a field

That this system would fail was entirely predictable

By: - May 4, 2020

As we face empty grocery shelves the fragility of our highly consolidated food system has become clear during the crisis of COVID-19. We see a market that lacks the resiliency to shift supply lines and fill those shelves, but also a food system that does not provide (and in most cases never has provided) fair […]

Picture of a Bloomberg ad on a television of him posing with a worker in a hardhat

Bloomberg and Trump: Two peas in a pod

By: - February 19, 2020

It seems that having money, plenty of money, must somehow bestow a certain sense of omniscience upon the very wealthiest in society, making some of them feel that they are uniquely qualified to hold political office. It would appear, unfortunately, that there are many voters and media outlets who feel those who possess great wealth, […]

President Trump signs the USMCA trade agreement with Mexico and Canada

USMCA is a failure, and the Democrats know it

By: and - December 23, 2019

The 1994 version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was impressively terrible. President Donald Trump said it was the worst trade deal ever. Of course, that was because NAFTA was not negotiated by his administration. His 2018 version, the USMCA, was even worse.   The original NAFTA did nothing to benefit workers or farmers […]


Perdue to small farmers: Stop whining, your demise is inevitable

By: - October 3, 2019

You really have to hand it to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, he can callously joke about farmers being “whiners” and consistently show how out of touch with farmers he really is, but as ag secretary, he still gets “the guest of honor” billing at a World Dairy Expo Town Hall.  When asked what he […]