NAFTA should be replaced with an agreement that encourages and ensures environmental sustainability, economic viability and longevity for the people growing and harvesting our food, as well as their communities, in all three NAFTA countries.
For a farmer, getting the news that you no longer have a market for your product is devastating, I know, I got one of those letters a few months ago. It is especially problematic if you are a dairy farmer, since cows need to be milked every day.
NFFC urges you to allow the Interim Final Rule (IFR) to become effective immediately. The Fair Farmer Practices Rules will protect family farmers and ranchers from abusive and anti-competitive practices, but their implementation has been delayed again and again. It is time for family farmers and ranchers to receive these very basic protections for which they have waited far too long while meatpackers and processors consolidate and exert even more power over their livelihoods as well as our food system.
NAFTA should be replaced with a different agreement with the goal of increasing living standards in all three countries. Any provisions related to agriculture must start from a goal of rebuilding farm and food systems to support fair and sustainable rural economies and food supplies.
At a press conference held at the Perkins Restaurant in Tunkhannock, Arden Tewksbury, Manager of Progressive Agriculture Organization (Pro-Ag) announced that several farm organizations, milk cooperatives, and county commissioners have petitioned the USDA in Washington DC asking for a national milk hearing for all dairy farmers. The petition clearly asks the Department of Agriculture to conduct milk hearings that would allow the average dairy farmer to testify and illustrate the severity of the problems that the majority of dairy farmers are experiencing.