Contract Grower Transition Program

Former Contract Grower - Craig Watts

Rural communities, farm workers, public health, the environment, and animals are all harmed by industrial agriculture. Rural residents living near industrial livestock operations understand this, but what they may not know is that the production contract farmers who operate these facilities suffer, too.

Often overlooked, small farmers are being exploited every day at the hands of the agribusiness giants who control today’s increasingly consolidated and concentrated industrial system. Unchecked consolidation and vertical integration, where corporations control multiple stages of the production process, have created an imbalance of power, which allows industry interests to:

  • manipulate the marketplace;
  • trap farmers in exploitative contracts;
  • push down the prices paid to farmers and ranchers; and
  • drive independent producers out of business.

The Contract Grower Transition Program* allows SRAP to further transform rural communities by engaging contract growers and producers struggling within the industrial agriculture system. Through the Transition Program, SRAP enables contract growers to leave this system behind by training them to work with the communities most harmed by industrial agriculture. SRAP aims to simultaneously reduce the number of contract growers trapped by the corporate agriculture model, while empowering them to advocate for a socially responsible animal agriculture system that prioritizes public health, the environment, and animal welfare.

There is no better advocate to engage rural communities facing threats of incoming or expanding industrial livestock facilities than the people who, too, were harmed by the industrial system. The SRAP staff members who lead this program are former contract growers who have experienced injustices firsthand. This unique perspective makes them especially effective champions of agricultural reform and enables them to offer invaluable guidance to rural residents suffering due to nearby livestock operations and to current growers struggling to leave the industry.

If you are a contract grower, please contact us.

*With generous support from American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA).