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.
As members of Congress return to Capitol Hill today, 85 farm and farmer support organizations sent letters to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) urging them to better protect farm families from an unprecedented spike in crop loss from herbicide drift. Experts estimate that dicamba, used on Monsanto’s latest seed line, has already damaged at least 3.1 million acres of farmland, an area the size of Connecticut.
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.
The Senate is expected to approve Perdue easily, but the question of his loyalty — to family farmers or to agribusiness — is imperative given the gravity of the economic situation facing rural America.
The undersigned farmer and public interest organizations are writing to express our deep disappointment with both the stated goals and the public engagement process led by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) regarding the proposed modernization of federal regulation of biotechnology known as the Coordinated Framework.
We are very pleased to post Stephen’s final essay here (Final.May2015.Tolpinrud.Coexistence) and grateful for the opportunity to have worked with him and fellow students through Dr. Graddy-Lovelace’s program.
With dairy farmers’ prices plummeting $9.50 per cwt. (hundred weight) from the high point of $26.16 in September 2014 down to the present level of $16.66, it makes one wonder if the net result will come close to the 2009 massacre.
The USFRA was created in 2011 as a trade association uniting Big Ag corporations (such as Monsanto, Cargill and DuPont Pioneer) and marketing groups for commodities (including corn, soybeans, beef and pork). Take note: some of these groups are farmer-funded, but in reality, farmers have no choice but to fund them, and it is often at their own expense.
I thought this would be a pretty simple first blog post – Monsanto’s Roundup Contaminates More than Just the Food on the Store Shelves – but breast milk?
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack appeared before the House Agriculture Committee last week to discuss the state of the rural economy and field questions on the implementation of the Farm Bill. Over the past few weeks USDA officials have appeared before the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to discuss USDA’s proposed budget for FY2015. And as always, bills are being introduced on the Hill that would have real impacts on the lives of farmers. Here are some key highlights:
Read NFFC’s President Ben Burkett Review of 2014 Farm Bill
To: Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chair of the Senate Ag Committee,
Senator Thad Cochran, Minority Chair of the Senate Ag Committee
Rep. Frank Lucas; Chair; House Ag Committee
Rep. Colin Peterson, Minority Chair; House Ag Committee