American Agriculture Movement Farmers Strike 1977
The American Agriculture Movement is an organization consisting primarily of small American farmers, and was formed in 1977 in Campo, Colorado by a group of farmers. The farmers attempted to organize a strike in which farmers would no longer buy or sell anything.
The organization demanded that the federal government establish higher prices of various crops, claiming that they needed "parity" between what they had to spend to grow crops versus revenues received from their crops. One of the slogans of the group was "Parity not Charity", as the farmers demanded that the government ensure that farmers were paid more for their crops. The farmers demanded to make as much profit per acre, adjusted for inflation, as farmers did at the turn of the 20th century.
On December 10, 1977, approximately 5,000 farmers held a rally in Lincoln, Nebraska, and were joined by Nebraska governor J. James Exon. The farmers all rode their tractors, and soon other farm states had tractor rallies. Gloria Carter Spann, sister of President Jimmy Carter even participated in one rally.
While the farmers appeared to have widespread sympathy, relatively few farmers actually went on strike and refused to grow crops. The organization therefore decided to have a tractor rally in Washington, DC. In January 1978, nearly 3,000 farmers drove their tractors to Washington, many of them from thousands of miles away.The Carter administration agreed that the Farmers Home Administration would stop all foreclosures, but soon after the rally was over resumed foreclosures of farms with past due loans.