Build Back Better: Our Call to Action and Roadmap for Rural America

In late 2020, Farm Action Fund (formerly named Family Farm Action) released a transition plan to the incoming Biden-Harris Administration titled Build Back Better: Our Call to Action and Roadmap for Rural America. This comprehensive plan details recommendations for the administration to successfully revitalize rural communities and was endorsed by 16 food, farm, and rural organizations.

By July 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy, setting out 72 action items to be taken by federal agencies with the goal of disrupting corporate power. This Executive Order represents the most aggressive stance against corporate power by an administration in decades, and the White House has thanked our team for drafting the “playbook” for their actions related to food and agriculture. We are now seizing an unprecedented opportunity to work with the administration to put these reforms into place.

We’re calling on the Biden-Harris Administration to take on five key issues:
  1. Building a Bench in Rural America: Intentionally Involving Rural Americans in the Movement for a More Just Economy and Food System

  2. Rooting Out Systemic Racism and Creating Opportunity for All

  3. Democratizing the Agrifood System

  4. Combating Climate Change through Rural Innovation

  5. Modernizing Rural Infrastructure and Investing in Its People

As important as the policy path the Biden-Harris Administration chooses is the personnel selected to carry out the work of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Traditionally, political appointee positions have been stuffed with the well-connected in Washington, D.C. and state capitols. We encourage a new approach that pulls from the vast talent pool across the country.

Addressing increasing corporate consolidation in our food system requires a robust federal response that revives rural communities and includes them in the decision making process, letting them know they have not been forgotten.

Farm Action Fund and the 16 other organizations who have signed on to this transition paper believe that our food system is a key intervention point to bring about a more inclusive economy that addresses discrimination and respects our land, natural resources and neighbors around the world.

This plan is endorsed by Farm Action Fund, People’s Action, American Grassfed Association, American Economic Liberties Project, Farm Aid, Socially Responsible Agriculture Project, Humane Society Legislative Fund, Center for Food Safety, Open Markets Institute, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy,, Humane Society of the United States, Revolving Door Project, Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth, National Housing Law Project, and Climate Crisis Policy.