Food Democracy Now! is a grassroots community dedicated to building a sustainable food system that protects our natural environment, sustains farmers and nourishes families.
Our food system is fundamentally broken. A few companies dominate the market, prioritizing profits over people and our planet. Government policies put the interests of corporate agribusiness over the livelihoods of farm families. Farm workers toil in unsafe conditions for minimal wages. School children lack access to healthy foods--as do millions of Americans living in poverty. From rising childhood and adult obesity to issues of food safety, air and water pollution, worker's rights and global warming, our current food system is leading our nation to an unsustainable future.
Food Democracy Now! members have a different vision. We know we can build a food system that gives our communities equal access to healthy food, and respects the dignity of the farmers who produce it. We believe in recreating regional food systems, supporting the growth of humane, natural and organic farms, and protecting the environment. We value our children's health, worker's rights, conservation, and animal welfare over corporate profits. And we believe that working together, we can make this vision a reality in our lifetimes.
Food Democracy Now! members organize both through online campaigns and in-person actions across the country. Our first campaign successfully put officials endorsed by FDN members in the Obama administration, with the support of these original signers. Now over 650,000 people strong, we invite you to join us.
Dave Murphy is the founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now!, a grassroots movement of more than 650,000 American farmers and citizens dedicated to reforming policies relating to food, agriculture and the environment. Murphy has been called “the most crucial and politically savvy actor in the on-going efforts to help move American agriculture into the 21st century” as a result of his “Sustainable Dozen” campaign, which resulted in four candidates being placed in high level positions at the USDA and his efforts to reform food and agriculture under the Obama administration.
In 2006, Murphy moved back to Iowa to help stop a factory farm from being built near his sister’s farm. After seeing the loss of basic democratic rights of rural Iowans, Murphy decided to stay in Iowa to fight for Iowa’s farmers and rural residents and expose the flaws of industrial agriculture to help create a more sustainable future for all Americans.
In 2007, Murphy organized the Food and Family Farm Presidential Summit, where 5 of the 6 Democratic candidates pledged their support to help save family farm agriculture and he filmed then Senator Barack Obama’s now famous promise to Iowa farmers to label genetically engineered foods.
Previously, he has worked as an environmental and food policy lobbyist and political strategist. His writing has appeared in the Nation, the Hill, Huffington Post and the New York Times. Dave is known as the “big dude from Iowa” by friend and foe alike and is a board member of the Iowa Organic Association.
Lisa is co-founder and associate director of Food Democracy Now!. For nearly a decade, Lisa has focused on creating a local food system in Northern Iowa, working to connect consumers with farmers who raise and grow food sustainably. During the past several years Lisa has organized dozens of events, including the Clear Lake Annual Earth Day Organic Lunch and also events surrounding the Iowa Farmer's Union 2007 Presidential Summit in Des Moines, Iowa working to showcase local and organic food, farmers and opportunities for her native home in Iowa.
In 2010, Lisa was honored to be named a “Woman Making a Difference”, by Shape Magazine. As the mother of four children, Lisa knows the importance of a nutritious meal and ensures that her children eat a healthy, organic diet. She is particularly concerned about achieving school lunch reform through Food Democracy Now! and also within the local community school system and believes that the key to creating health and sustainability lies within teaching our children to be stewards of the water, land and soil. Lisa is hopeful that this administration will ensure the implementation of policy changes so that her children have a sustainable future to look forward to.
Paul is a hog farmer and Manager of Niman Ranch Pork Company. He is the owner and operator of the Willis Free Range Pig Farm in Thornton, Iowa, where he lives with his wife, Phyllis. In 1994, Paul was introduced to Bill Niman, and the two forged a groundbreaking partnership to sell natural pork from family farms using traditional, humane, animal husbandry. Paul has been the subject of numerous feature-length articles and book chapters in books, such as Righteous Porkchop by Nicolette Hahn-Niman, Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, and the upcoming book, Gristle, edited by Miyun Park and Moby.
Paul is currently the member of a committee convened by the National Academy of Sciences to undertake the project, 21st Century Systems Agriculture, which is studying the science and policies that influence the adoption of farming practices and management systems designed to reduce the costs and environmental effects of agricultural production.
In 2003, along with Bill Niman, he was honored with the Good Neighbor Harvest Award by the Glynwood Center, an organization that works nationally and internationally to support sustainable agriculture. Niman Ranch pork, which is 500+ family farmer strong, is marketed and sold in the finest retail outlets and restaurants throughout the country.
Aaron is the director and producer of the critically acclaimed film, King Corn, his sixth feature documentary. Aaron’s last three films have aired nationally on PBS and look into the human consequences of government policy. In 2000, Woolf directed Greener Grass: Cuba, Baseball, and the United States, a WNET-ITVS co-production that received a Rockie Award.
In 2003, he directed Dying to Leave: The Global Face of Human Trafficking and Smuggling, which won an Australian Logie Award for best documentary series, aired as a two-hour special on the PBS series Wide Angle, and was screened at the State Department and the United Nations.
Aaron’s films have been broadcast worldwide and he has presented work and spoken on agriculture and immigration policy at numerous institutions including Stanford University, Yale, UCLA and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He is the founder of Mosaic Films Incorporated and holds a Masters degree in film and communications studies from the University of Iowa. In 2007, Woolf opened Urban Rustic, a Brooklyn NY grocery specializing in locally-sourced and organic foods.