Action Alert

Fair trade or free trade? Let your voice be heard on Minnesota’s future!

The Obama Administration is negotiating two new mega trade deals (one with Pacific Rim countries, another with Europe) entirely in secret, with the goal of further expanding the NAFTA-model of free trade. These trade agreements could have major impacts on Minnesota's farmers, workers, small business owners and rural communities. They could limit Minnesota’s ability to support local food and energy systems and grow local businesses. In order to stay up to speed, Minnesota has set up a new Trade Policy Advisory Council (TPAC) to advise the state legislature and Governor.

TPAC wants to hear from Minnesotans: What concerns do you have about free trade? What role could TPAC play in the future? Now is your opportunity to have a say in our future trade policy. Complete the survey and let them know future trade negotiations should be public, not secret. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard in the development of trade agreements and that they protect local control and our quality of life. The free trade model has failed for Minnesota and we need a new approach to trade. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard before trade agreements are completed, and that they protect local control, our natural resources and our quality of life.

Please take five minutes and complete the survey. To find out more about these trade agreements, go to


Tar Sands: How Trade Rules Surrender Sovereignty and Extend Corporate Rights

Published August 21, 2014

Introduction Neoliberalism exacerbates climate change and codifies the subjugation of indigenous communities through trade agreement rules that allow corporations to control natural resources and challenge government regulations. Liberalized trade and economic regimes promote policies that incentivize unrestricted...

Maine Agriculture and Food Systems in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Published August 15, 2014

Executive Summary The negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) began with a series of bold assertions that it would serve to jump start the two ailing economies, resulting in rising economic growth and job creation on both sides of the Atlantic. Tariffs are already quite low. The...

Farm to Childcare Curriculum Package

Published July 15, 2014

Inside this curriculum package, you will find activity ideas and resources for implementing Farm to Childcare at your  childcare center. Many of these resources are ready to use, while some are examples that offer opportunities for you to customize to your own context. Lesson planning charts are provided to help...

Farm to Childcare: Highlights and Lessons Learned

Published July 15, 2014

Introduction: About our Experience with Farm to Childcare In late 2011, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) began exploring a potential collaboration with New Horizon Academy (NHA), a for-profit childcare provider, to jointly design and conduct a pilot Farm to Childcare (F2CC) program in Minnesota....

Measuring Success: Local Food Systems and the Need for New Indicators

Published June 3, 2014

In agriculture, policymakers, analysts and researchers often use a set of indicators to assess whether a farming system, or new technology, is succeeding. The most common indicators focus on increasing “yield,” often of a singular crop or animal unit, within large-scale production systems. The use of...

The State of the States on Climate Adaptation

Published May 8, 2014

Foreward As the impacts of climate change become increasingly apparent, society is becoming more serious about the need to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and begin preparing for a changing climate. The needs are profound—practically every area of our economy and society will be ...

Farm to School Youth Leadership Curriculum (all lessons and worksheets)

Published March 4, 2014

Farm to School Youth Leadership Curriculum The high school level Farm to School Youth Leadership Curriculum is designed to empower youth, teach them about their local food system, engage them in meaningful, hands-on learning activities that also strengthen their school’s Farm to School program and link them...

Fair or Fowl? Industrialization of Poultry Production in China

Published February 17, 2014

Executive summary Poultry meat and eggs were not traditionally an important part of the Chinese diet. They were considered luxury goods for consumption on special occasions. Over the past three decades, however, China’s per capita poultry consumption has increased from barely 1kg to over 9kg per year. Today, the...

China’s Dairy Dilemma: The Evolution and Future Trends of China’s Dairy Industry

Published February 17, 2014

Executive summary The past three decades have seen both dairy production and consumption in China soar, averaging a 12.8 percent annual growth rate since 2000. This boom in both production and consumption has had critical consequences for both Chinese small dairy producers and consumers as the power of a few large...

China’s Pork Miracle? Agribusiness and Development in China’s Pork Industry

Published February 17, 2014

Executive summary Agriculture has helped fuel the “China miracle.” Since 1978, agricultural and food output has soared, Chinese agribusiness firms have become key players in domestic and international markets, and by all accounts, China has been highly successful in overcoming land and resource constraints...