Do You Care About the Future of Your Rural Community?
Do You Want to be Heard?
Throughout the rural Midwest, communities are being exposed to political pressure, frivolous lawsuits, and other forms of intimidation as corporate entities attempt to force their idea of “development” down people’s throats. These strategies are an attempt to silence local residents who dare to stand up and speak out against the model of economic development corporations and their allies are pushing. Too often, this results in these communities being strapped with the kind of facilities that benefit a select few powerful players and are bad for the land, the water, independent farms, Main Street businesses, and people. Silence only benefits the ones who already have a powerful voice. Through local organizing and by listening to people, the Land Stewardship Project has learned that when we are given a chance to speak out about the kind of future we’d like to see on the landscape, it results in action to create healthy, resilient communities.
Are you seeing the corporate takeover of the farm and food system, as well as general economic development, in your community? Do you want to speak up about the impacts it’s having and possible alternatives? Then we want to hear from you.
LSP is launching a special initiative to collect the stories of rural residents who question the “get big or get out” narrative and the power and bullying tactics wielded by Corporate America. For the next 12 months, the LSP Powerline Story Center is seeking firsthand reports and stories from rural residents across the Midwest who question the power of Big Ag and Corporate America, and are seeking ways to fight back.
Have factory farms or other major developments arrived in your community, or are you worried that such developments are being proposed? Do you question the general narrative that’s being circulated that the only future for your community is a system based on large-scale CAFOs and other developments that rely on big money, extreme natural resource extraction, and low-wage employment? Is local control and the ability of rural communities to determine their own future important to you? Would you like to talk about a type of food and farming system that relies on small and medium-sized operations that contribute to local economies while building healthy soil?
How We Will Use Your Story
First of all, the Land Stewardship Project wants to simply listen and hear from you what’s happening in your community. When LSP and its members recently had to fight back against a frivolous lawsuit filed by a factory farm, people told us this wasn’t the first time corporations have used their deep pockets to threaten those that stand in their way. Now we want to hear about other people’s experiences. After you record your story, one of our staff members may reach out to you. If there is information and resources we have to share or if there are other LSP members who are also concerned about the issues you mention, we will offer to let you know. There’s no obligation to take any further action on your part, but we will make sure you are made aware of how your story connects with the stories of others. We want you to know that you are not alone and that there are ways to have a positive impact in your community.
Interested? Let’s get started by recording your story below. If you prefer to write your story, simply e-mail it to Brian DeVore at email@example.com. If you have any questions, contact LSP organizer Martin Moore at 612-767-9881 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember: your voice and your story are powerful.