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

FARM: Food, Art, Revolution, Media

Thu., August 25, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
2104 Stevens Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Part of the Minnesota Global series.

5:30 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

Using the synergistic power of photography and storytelling, Dan and Melinda Hemmelgarn’s Food, Art, Revolution, Media (FARM) project blends compelling photographs with relevant stories from rural America to influence public opinion and drive public policy to support a more just and sustainable food system.

The FARM project contrasts the pervasive media campaigns of powerful industrial agribusiness with rural realities. With the looming 2012 Farm Bill, their unique application of media literacy education can help raise national awareness, fuel community engagement and promote "food citizenship" over blind consumption.

Join us as the Hemmelgarns utilize photography to document the American food and agricultural landscape and amplify the voices of sustainable family farmers and food producers across the United States.

As an IATP Food and Community Fellow alum, journalist, and nutrition, health and media educator, Melinda’s work involves the study of both farm and food policies, and the media messages that define and reflect our national and global food system, and thereby influence public health. Melinda and Dan’s innovative interpretation and application of media literacy education includes agricultural, ecological and food system literacy. Working as a team, Dan captures compelling images of farmers, their land and livestock; while Melinda strengthens the voices of sustainable family farms and food producers through print, radio, professional conferences and public presentations.

Together, Dan and Melinda have created two philanthropic "Farm Hands" calendars to raise funds, awareness, and appreciation for those who feed us. Their greeting cards blend F.A.R.M. Project images and interviews to help disseminate the wisdom of organic farmers and food producers. The couple also produces a weekly, award-winning radio program to help listeners "think beyond their plates" and connect the dots between food, health and agriculture. "Food Sleuth Radio" is broadcast from KOPN studios in Columbia, Missouri: 89.5 FM.

See some of Dan Hemmelgarn's photos or RSVP now!