As industrial factory farming gains control of the food sector, America is losing its family farmers at an alarming rate. Since 1980, 90% of U.S. hog farmers and 41% of U.S. cattle producers have gone out of business, and over one million U.S. family farmers have been driven off the land. 71% of U.S. poultry growers now live below the federal poverty level.
The top four largest meatpackers and food processors control as much as 80% of the meat sector, and in the beef, pork, and poultry sectors, the very largest companies operating in the U.S. are foreign owned. With their strong control of the market, these big four companies have gained an unfair advantage over individual American family farmers and ranchers who raise livestock and poultry. The meatpackers and processors are able to pay farmers unfair prices, pit farmers against each other, and retaliate against farmers if they speak out. This imbalance of power between the meatpackers and processors over America’s farmers and ranchers is a major contributor to the demise of America’s family farm agriculture.
To help reverse this trend, the USDA has proposed three Farmer Fair Practices Rules, all focused on providing marketplace safeguards which ensure individual family farmers have the opportunity to feed us here at home and to compete in the global market.
Take Action Now
Lend your voice in telling the new Administration and the new Congress to support GIPSA’s Farmer Fair Practices Rules by signing the pledge below. Then, tell the USDA you support these rules by commenting on them in the Federal Register.
President-elect Trump and members of Congress:
I pledge to voice support for GIPSA’s Farmer Fair Practices Rules and call on the Trump Administration and members of Congress to do the same and support these market safeguards for U.S. farmers and ranchers.
America’s family farmers and ranchers have helped build our country and are the best assurance of a safe, healthy, just and secure food system. This action is not only for our personal health and safety, but for the health of our rural communities. Today, the largest firms in beef, pork and poultry are foreign owned (beef: JBS’ Swift, Brazil; pork: Shineway Group’s Smithfield, China; and poultry: JBS’ Pilgrim’s Pride, Brazil). Too much of our food is now controlled by foreign companies and countries, and safeguarding the marketplace for America’s family farmers and ranchers is an issue of national security. These safeguards are in every American’s best interest and all of us should do everything in our power to ensure GIPSA’s Farmer Fair Practices Rules are finalized.
We will keep you up-to-date on this issue with occasional emails. You can opt-out at any time.