Author

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.

COMMENTARY
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, […]

COMMENTARY
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 […]

COMMENTARY
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 […]

COMMENTARY
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, […]

COMMENTARY
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 […]

COMMENTARY

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 […]