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The US has lost over half its dairy farmers in the past sixteen years while prices for dairy farmers have crashed below 1970 prices. Dairy farmers are in crisis, largely due to a broken pricing system and rampant corruption in the dairy industry-- according to the National Family Farm Coalition (see:

While farmers are drowning in milk, many are forced to produce more and more in order to compensate for a below cost of production price. Many small and mid sized dairy farms have been forced into bankruptcy, forced to sell whole herds, or given no other option but to "get big or get out." The implications for rural places, once reliant on the economic and community impact of having many small dairies, are devastating. Small farming operations form an ecosystem - when one suffers, it affects the whole community of producers, workers, and consumers.

Furthermore, this is a crisis far from the public eye -- in rural places that most media doesn't cover, behind closed doors where corporate dairy so-called "co-ops" negotiate prices, and among one workforce the US loves to idealize but not truly engage -- farmers, and one that is universally ignored -- farmworkers.

We need to make this crisis, and its meaning and impacts, visible - beautifully, powerfully, truthfully - with art and words and imagery.

Submit your work by August 31! We've included rough prompts and guidelines below, but our key interest is the collective effort to make clear a crisis that is currently quite invisible.

We will review all submissions on a rolling basis, and follow-up with you individually by email about the logistics of including your work.

Please feel free to submit rough ideas and sketches and queries - we would love to help you flesh out the idea, find further info/inspiration you might need, or connect you to collaborators.

Subjects to consider for work you might submit:
-Who are the communities most impacted by this crisis? How are they impacted? What about the towns and landscapes?
-What does our current food system and food economy look like? Feel like? How about the one we want and need?
-What does the loss of community and livelihood look like? Feel like? How about strong, united resistance? Struggle? Movement?

We welcome:
-Visual art in all mediums: drawings, photography, paintings, sculpture, videos, etc.
-Prose and poetry: we will likely self-publish a pamphlet / zine to accompany this work

This is an independent project of Anna Hankins and Katie Blanchard, with much admiration for and communication with leaders who are organizing around the dairy crisis (with National Family Farm Coalition, the Wisconsin Farmers Union, etc). Anna farms in eastern Iowa and Katie makes art in Chicago. They met through student organizing and have grown food and worked on campaigns for a fair food system and justice for farmworkers, farmers, and food service workers in various ways ever since. Questions? Contact Anna -
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