No organic farmer will deny there are times when animals get sick, it is too wet to cultivate or it gets so dry you have to buy feed and you remember your past life as a conventional farmer, when there was a synthetic fix for the problem or feed that was an easy phone call away. But no one ever said farming would be easy; you just figure it out, learn from the problem and plan ahead.
If there was any hope that Secretary Perdue and this administration would stand up for small- and medium-sized family farmers and the rural communities they support, that has been dashed now.
Today, a broad-based coalition of 210 farm, rural, worker and consumer advocacy organizations released principles for a fairer farm bill that would address the lack of competition in every link in the food chain. The groups point out that growing consolidation in the agribusiness, food processing and supermarket industries lowers prices for farmers and wages for farmworkers and other food chain workers, erodes rural economies, and raises prices while limiting choices for consumers. The letter calls on Congress to address the ongoing consolidation of these industries with policies that address unfair contracts for farmers, increase market transparency, reform USDA guaranteed loans and guarantee worker rights.