Frontline Farmers

How the National Farmers Union Resists Agribusiness and Creates Our New Food Future

Edited by Annette Aurélie Desmarais  

Paperback $25.00

EPUB $24.99

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Who grows the food we eat? How important is it that family farms are viable in Canada today and in the future? How do viable family farms help determine the safety, diversity and sustainability of Canada’s food systems? Why is this important to those of us who do not farm?

Frontline Farmers introduces readers to the National Farmers Union (NFU). For over fifty years, the NFU has been on the frontlines of our food system. From fighting against transnational corporations that seek to control our food system by imposing genetically modified organisms into our food, to protecting seeds, maintaining orderly marketing, saving the prison farms, keeping the land in the hands of family farmers, farming ecologically and building food sovereignty, the NFU has been front and centre of farm and food activism.

This book collects the voices of NFU members who tell the stories of the key struggles of the progressive farm movement in Canada: fighting to build viable rural communities, protecting the family farm and creating socially just and ecologically sustainable food systems. Frontline Farmers reveals that the stakes for controlling our food in Canada have never been higher.

The book was made possible with support from the Canada Research Chair Program.

For an updated, corrected list of the protagonists from Frontline Farmers, please click here.

“The book offers a front-seat look at some of the key organizing efforts undertaken by one of the founding members of the global food sovereignty movement: The NFU.[…] Frontline Farmers is an important contribution to the conversation on contemporary food movements and offers numerous insights into the on-the-ground and evolving struggle for food sovereignty in Canada and beyond.”

— Agriculture and Human Values 37, 931–932 (2020)

  • EPUB
  • ISBN: 9781773631745
  • November 2019
  • $24.99
  • For sale worldwide
  • Kindle
  • ISBN: 9781773631752
  • November 2019
  • For sale worldwide

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  • Recounting the Past, Counting on the Future: Stories of the NFU (Nettie Wiebe)
  • Krafting a Boycott: NFU Takes on a Corporate Giant (Carla Fehr)
  • Stopping Monsanto: Coalition Building Against rBGH and GM Wheat (Carla Fehr and Emily Eaton)
  • Protecting Seeds (Terran Giacomini)
  • Organizing the Market: The Canadian Wheat Board (André Magnan)
  • Farming Ecologically: The NFU in Ontario (Bryan Dale)
  • Saving the Prison Farms: Cows, Community and Civil Disobedience (Asha Nelson and Meghan Entz)
  • Owning the Island: The Question of Land in Prince Edward Island (Naomi Beingessner)
  • Embracing Agrarian Feminism: “The Farm Is Mary’s and Mine” (Carla Roppel)
  • Inspiring Re-Generation of Farming: NFU Youth (Terran Giacomini)
  • Globalization Solidarity: La Vía Campesina and Food Sovereignty (Asha Nelson and Annette Aurélie Desmarais)
  • Building Relationships: Indigenous-Settler Solidarity and the NFU (Lauren Kepkiewicz and Terran Giacomini)
  • Contributors
  • Index


  • Annette Aurélie Desmarais

    Annette Aurélie Desmarais is the Canada Research Chair in Human Rights, Social Justice and Food Sovereignty at the University of Manitoba. She is the author of_ La Vía Campesina: Globalization and the Power of Peasants_. Prior to obtaining her doctorate in geography, Annette was a small-scale grain farmer in Saskatchewan. She then also worked with the National Farmers Union in the Global Agriculture Project and provided technical support to La Vía Campesina for over a decade.

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