Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ message to the nation: “Fundamental change in America’s agricultural and rural policies is no longer just an option; it’s an absolute necessity.”
During this farm crisis, we all surely recognize the results of farm bills written by the swamp — lawyers and lobbyists of multinational agribusiness corporations. By denying farmers fair prices and supply management — parity — we are locked into growing the cheapest corn and soybeans in “competition” with the huge supplies produced in the rain forest of Brazil.
The cheap corn and soybeans were used to destroy family farm livestock production. Instead, we have vertically integrated packing companies and food processors feeding their captive supply of livestock for meat, milk, eggs.
What really irks me is that the public was told farmers were getting “generous payments” at taxpayers’ expense. These payments were measly compared to the profits of the giant livestock feeders, packing companies and chemical companies, or the invaluable loss of our rural communities and the topsoil that used to be held in place with hay and pasture where farmers could truly practice livestock husbandry and land stewardship. What’s the cost of destroying a future for our farm kids?
Another thing that irks me is how we have to make our living — or go broke — with prices determined at a casino: the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. This price benchmark sets prices for all farmers in the world, driving them off the land to big cities and across borders, which explains the worldwide problem of illegal immigration.
Without a president that truly takes the swamp out of farm policy, that recognizes our country, every country, deserves sovereignty over its farm policy, the future of family farm agriculture will only get worse. We need a parity farm policy administered by a champion of family farmers like Bernie Sanders.