I'm Sarah Taber.
An experienced voice on food system logistics and labor.
I'm Sarah Taber: former farm worker, now an author and consultant for crop science, food handling, and farm operations.
I started working as a hired field hand at 14. I loved working outside, and still do. Less lovable? Finding a coworker near my age who'd just had a gruesome workplace injury, giving her first aid, and cleaning up all the blood. That job didn't pay much. But I soon learned I was one of the only crew members getting paid at all. The rest of us were there as criminal punishment: the 13th Amendment at work. This job was my introduction to agriculture and how it feeds on people that most Americans do not value.
Over a decade later, after years of hard knocks working in fields, kitchens, garment shops, labs, and factory lines, I earned a doctorate in crop health from the University of Florida. 25 years in agriculture and the manufacturing trades taught me good food systems are possible. But they must build on a solid foundation of empowering farm and food workers. We can't fix the food system until we break our bad habits with labor.
After running a successful consulting practice for the past 8 years, I started writing about my experiences. I've published in the Atlantic, Slate, Washington Post, New York Magazine, Wonkette, The Elephant, and Foreign Policy. My first published book is due to hit shelves in late 2023.
Many people know me through Twitter where I discuss food and farm policy, management practices, the ins and outs of manual labor, and strategies to make a food system that works for everyone.