Ahead of President Trump’s speech to the American Farm Bureau, farmers suing the Administration for rolling back critical protections for family farms issued the following statement:
“President Trump’s administration has turned its back on the very farmers and rural communities that helped elect him president. Instead of upholding his promise to be our champion, the administration sided with multinational corporations to roll back rules designed to prevent corporations from engaging in unfair and deceptive practices against family farms,” said Jim Dinklage, a Nebraska cattle producer and Jonathan and Connie Buttram, Alabama poultry farmers.
“Farmers don’t need more empty promises from President Trump in his speech today—we need action. The President has the opportunity to reverse course and pledge to reinstate the Farmer Fair Practices Rule. Over 80 farm organizations have called on him to do so by executive order. We hope he does. Until then, we will continue to fight the Administration’s harmful and unlawful attack on family farms in court.”
Background: Last fall, President Trump’s USDA rescinded the “Farmer Fair Practices Rule”— rules that made it possible for independent poultry and livestock farmers to take legal action against multinational agricultural corporations when those corporations engaged in abusive and unfair practices. When independent producers contract with these corporations, they face huge risks of abuse, through practices like predatory pricing and collusion, bad faith, and retaliation. The fair practices rule that was withdrawn by USDA was the product of almost 10 years of work, and would have helped farmers make sure they could hold corporations accountable and keep them honest. In November, more than 80 farm organizations wrote to President Trump urging him to reverse USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue’s action.
In December, the Organization for Competitive Markets and farmers in Nebraska and Alabama sued the Trump Administration seeking to reinstate the rules and protect independent farmers.