Feedstuffs | Former poultry farmers push for GIPSA rewrite

Feedstuffs By Jacqui Fatka Former contract poultry farmer Craig Watts made headlines when he teamed up with Compassion in World Farming USA to expose issues he faced, from receiving sick chicks to animal welfare conditions to carrying the full financial burden of maintaining and upgrading facilities. In 2016, his contract was terminated by the poultry company he had served long term, and today’s he’s trying to ensure that farmers have government protection against retaliation from companies. “As American farmers, we deserve Read More …

Successful Farming | What Farmers Can Expect from the Latest Round of Seed Company Mergers

Successful Farming Gil Gullickson “Oh, one more thing,” says Ray Gaesser, as he holds out two fingers pointing to his shiny green 24-row corn planter on a bluebird April day. “Would you believe when I began farming over 50 years ago, I started with a two-row planter? Then I went to four, then 12, and now 24 rows.” The mix of largely family-owned and some national seed companies from which the Corning, Iowa, farmer bought seed from in Read More …

POLITICO | The Ivory Tower team of wonks behind Warren’s policy agenda

POLITICO By Alex Thompson and Theodoric Meyer Behind Elizabeth Warren’s trust-busting, Wall Street-bashing, tax-the-wealthy platform is a brain trust that extends well beyond the Beltway thinkers who often rubber stamp campaign proposals. Instead, the former Harvard professor and her tight team of policy advisers have waded deeper into the world of academia than is usual in presidential campaigns, according to interviews with more than a dozen people her campaign has consulted and a review of the scholarship underlying Read More …

Farm Progress | Merger moratorium bill introduced

Farm Progress Democratic lawmakers have introduced a bill to place a moratorium on acquisitions and mergers in the food and agriculture sector. U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., introduced the Food and Agribusiness Merger Moratorium and Antitrust Review Act. The bill would put an immediate moratorium in place until Congress passes comprehensive legislation addressing the problem of market concentration in agriculture. “Our agriculture and food sector have reached alarming levels Read More …

NPR | ‘American Soil’ Is Increasingly Foreign Owned

NPR By Renee Wilde American soil. Those are two words that are commonly used to stir up patriotic feelings. They are also words that can’t be taken for granted, because today nearly 30 million acres of U.S. farmland are held by foreign investors. That number has doubled in the past two decades, which is raising alarm bells in farming communities. When the stock market tanked during the past recession, foreign investors began buying up big swaths of U.S. Read More …

DTN Progressive Farmer | Groups Rally for Farmer Bill of Rights Before Rural Forum

DTN Progressive Farmer By Chris Clayton STORM LAKE, Iowa, (DTN) — Several farm groups focusing on issues related to small family farms in crisis held a rally here Saturday leading up to a rural issues forum later in the afternoon with a handful of Democratic presidential candidates. NOTE: I plan to update this blog with comments from the forum later in the day as well as post tweets at @ChrisClaytonDTN Family Farm Action spearheaded the forum, along with Read More …

Drovers | Checkoff Reform Legislation Reintroduced by Presidential Candidates

Drovers Wyatt Bechtel A bill seeking to limit the use of agricultural checkoff funds has been reintroduced in the Senate and it has the backing of several current or former presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle. The Opportunities for Fairness in Farming (OFF) Act of 2019 was reintroduced on March 28, by U.S. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) after the same legislation failed to make its way in to the farm bill during the 2018 mark up. Read More …

Washington Monthly | Meet the New Trustbusters

Washington Monthly By Eric Cortellessa This much can be said for Democrats heading into 2020: if their candidate manages to defeat Donald Trump, the new president will enter the White House having promised the boldest domestic policy agenda in more than a generation. At least six presidential hopefuls are all in on single-payer; an overlapping set of six cosponsored the Green New Deal legislation; and three have even said they support reparations for slavery. But while these proposals may help curry favor with the Read More …