(Ed. note: Sorry no quiz this week)
Did you see our email last week about farm bankruptcies?
Things are only getting worse. Ethanol plants are shutting down or going idle, families are forced to rent out their century farms, and dairy corporations are in talks to consolidate — further hurting our farmers, shrinking our markets, and thinning our choices. It’s high time we have a representative in Congress who will do something about the ongoing suffering in rural communities.
The time to act is now.
— Team Scholten
When our farmers suffer, America suffers. And right now, American farms are $426.6 billion in debt. As farmers are squeezed out of business, the ripple effects begin: the local economy shrinks, schools consolidate, grocery stores close, and kids move away and don’t come back.
The government is only making matters worse. In fact, time and again, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue pushes “get big or get off the farm policies” that hurt the little guy and back corporate consolidation, which has led to the rise of farm bankruptcies, farm loan delinquency rates, and farmer suicides.
Farmers don’t need much — they don’t want handouts. Truth be told, they just want a fair shot at making a profit and providing for their families. They are some of the most resilient, determined, hard-working, and creative people — and all they need is a little help.
Here’s where we can start:
- Enforcing our antitrust laws, and preventing corporate consolidation that leaves farmers with few options and thinner margins, and pushes them out of business.
- Securing trade deals that tackle the issues before us and don’t use our farmers, manufacturers, and consumers as collateral damage.
- Giving younger generations and minority farmers the tools they need for success.
- Paying farmers for their environmental services and incentivizing sustainable techniques that will promote soil health, ensure clean water and safe food, and protect our environment.
- Bringing farmers to the table for climate change solutions.
Without action, our farmers won’t make it. But that doesn’t mean we should give up now. We need to have their backs and fight for fairness in farming.
When folks in Washington talk about trade policy, farm bills, and tax breaks, they think of our farmers as bargaining chips, not as people and families who deserve a fair shot.
Once elected, J.D. will be a loud, strong voice for our farmers — and will stand tall with them every day.
Thanks for standing with us,