Family Farm Defenders: Family farmers express solidarity with Wisconsin workers occupying the state Capitol


Joel Greeno, FFD Vice President & dairy farmer #608-463-7634

Tony Schultz, FFD Board Member & CSA farmer #715-432-6285

John E. Peck, FFD executive director #608-260-0900

Condemn Governor Walker’s Attack on Labor Rights and Health Care

Family Farmer Defenders, a nationwide grassroots organization based in Madison, has called upon its members to support the ongoing protests in Wisconsin against the ruthless power grabbing politics of newly elected Governor, Scott Walker. Family Farm Defender members have already been picketing legislators’ homes, delivering food to those occupying the capitol, and participating in solidarity events across the state.

“Busting unions will only make all of us more desperate and widen the divide between the haves and the have nots,” noted Tony Schultz, a FFD board member and CSA farmer near Athens who helped organize a rally in Wausau on Sun. that was covered by CNN and drew 300-400 people. “A lot of family farmers depend upon Badger Care since they have no other insurance options. Many of our CSA customers also happen to be teachers, nurses, and other public workers so this backward proposal has a direct impact on our future livelihood. Everyone deserves the right to opportunity in this state, not just wealthy campaign donors and their corrupt political allies.”

“Gov. Walker’s so-called budget repair bill is part of a much more sinister ideological campaign bankrolled by the billionaire Koch brothers to undermine the basic democratic rights of all people in Wisconsin, family farmers included.” remarked John E. Peck, executive director of Family Farm Defenders. “In fact, many of his proposals to eliminate collective bargaining, privatize and outsource social services, as well as enfeebling regulatory agencies have nothing to do with the state budget deficit and will just make the current economic crisis worse.”

“Farmers need to stand behind workers and their freedom to collectively bargain. All farmer cooperatives depend upon the same principle, so any attempt to take away that right needs to be challenged. This struggle is all about human rights. If you lower the bar for anyone, you ultimately lower it for everyone else. An injury to one is an injury to all. Just because farmers are going bankrupt due to unfair prices does not mean workers should lose living wages, too. There is no way to repair the budget until we restore fairness to the whole economic system,” added Joel Greeno, FFD vice president and dairy farmer near Kendall.

Family Farm Defenders will continue supporting workers in this struggle, including spreading word about the general strike called by unions and a possible solidarity tractorcade to the capitol.