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Big Ag Circles the Wagons Against Activists

Big Ag Circles the Wagons Against Activists
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When voices for a sustainable food system are loud enough to be seen as threats, they can pat themselves on the back, at least a little. Formation of the US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) shows some nervous reaction in the big-agriculture ranks. Major farm associations are circling the wagons to fight off critics. The alliance’s introductory video calls for farmers and ranchers to come together: “Let’s change the perception of modern farming and ranching from negative to one that inspires a nation.”

Behind the the calls for “a collective voice” are some familiar faces. The major commodity associations are there, such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Sheep Industry, United Egg Producers, U.S. Grain Council, Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the Dairy Farmers of America. John Deere and DuPont have signed onto the Premier Partner Advisory Group.

American Farm Bureau (AFB) president Bob Stallman is one of the founding members. In a speech he gave at the AFB convention in January 2010, he said, “A line must be drawn between our polite and respectful engagement with consumers and how we must aggressively respond to extremists who want to drag agriculture back to the day of 40 acres and a mule. The time has come to face our opponents with a new attitude. The days of their elitist power grabs are over.”

The “elitist power grabs” he was referring to were such pesky things as climate legislation. In the July 25, 2011, FB News (AFB’s newspaper), other nuisances were named, such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Photo from USDA Agricultural Research Service

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6:36PM PDT on Nov 3, 2012

A Little Good News

10:17AM PST on Dec 13, 2011

I think the state of our food supply is going to get worse before it gets better, to the point that even those with their head buried in the chemically laden sand will have to admit how badly it's gone wrong. Hopefully it will still be fixable by then.

8:01AM PDT on Nov 1, 2011

I think conversation is good. Many of those organizations listed in the article are comprised of small family farms, not corporate farms.... the small family farms (whether it is 40 acres or 40,000 acres) are the ones that NEED to band together into commodity organizations in order to have a voice. They don't like the big corporate farms either, yet they are continually lumped into the same "evil empire". Education and conversation IS what is needed here. Most people that the small farmers feed in this world have no idea (and no appreciation for) what it takes to bring a single carrot or glass of milk to their table

3:16PM PDT on Sep 11, 2011

It makes me happy if they are scared enough to form an organization and spend that kind of money to counter our demands. That means that we've been having an effect on them. I don't know if USFRA is a threat to us, as the question asks, or we to them?

6:42PM PDT on Sep 7, 2011

if Monsanto wants to own everything we put in our mouths maybe it's time to return that food to them after it comes out our other end

5:26PM PDT on Sep 2, 2011

We have to be vigilant or Monsanto will own whatever we put into our mouths.

4:18PM PDT on Aug 30, 2011

AG! GACK! (Genetically Accelerated Crap Kraft).
So how come when I go to a 5 acre farmer, a potato costs a nickle. When I go to the supermarket a potato costs a dollar? And it's shipped in from Hawaii? Dole potatoes, Jolly Gay Giant, Shitquito. I might not have a garden, but I have a windowsill. I grow my own, even in an apartment.
We have no excuse for supporting this monster. Eating less is healthy anyway. Especially meat.
Steal it and sell it back to them is the elitist corporate motto. I remember the million tractor march at Nixon's Whitehouse. I wonder why they call it the Whitehouse since black slaves built it? Oh, I digress! Maybe GMO pollen floated past my garden and contaminated my bean sprouts. Later guys, I have to gack now.

11:13AM PDT on Aug 27, 2011

"The days of their elitist power grabs are over.”

Another example of projecting on others your own agenda. The land was in better shape when there were many small farms. And the animals and fowl were certainly treated better.

11:13AM PDT on Aug 25, 2011

And I mean no offense for the label, "brainwashed" - it was only two years ago that I freed myself from that horrible grip. As someone who is generally afraid of change and moving out of comfort zones, I have to say - it's easy being vegan. Take it slow if you need to. Watch how many wonderful developments occur.

11:07AM PDT on Aug 25, 2011

What a joke. They will say anything and do anything to mask their hideous, torture for profit from the brainwashed masses.

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