In the Wake of Roe: What Farming Can Teach Us About Political Action

Chris Newman
9 min readJun 29, 2022

Last week, in a stunning 6–3 decision, the Supreme Court voted to do something it rarely (if ever) does: take away rights, instead of granting them. Roe vs. Wade was overturned and, just like that, a fundamental element of reproductive care was no longer guaranteed as a right.

America’s political right crowed triumphant over a half-century of well-organized/executed political maneuvers culminating in a stunning victory. America’s left, if we’re being generous, is on its heels, stuck reacting to the Roe decision while the right races ahead toward everything from gay rights to segregation. Forget the progressive promised land of universal basic income and healthcare; that coalition is poised to spend a few generations defending and regaining ground it took fifty years ago if something isn’t done.

And what is to be done?

I’m not a political strategist, just a farmer. And as a farmer, the key lesson I’ve taken from the Roe disaster is this:

  • People on the right treat politics like farming.
  • People on the left treat politics like WWOOFing.

Here’s the thing. I have to farm everyday if I, in fact, want there to be a farm. The animals have to be fed and watered and moved, fences checked, gates closed, eggs…



Chris Newman

Building a new, accessible, open, and democratic food economy in the Chesapeake Bay region @ Sylvanaqua Farms