Sunday, May 26, 2019

Bernie Sanders plans to take on Big Ag and end agri-business monopolies

"What you want, and what I want, are more family farms in America, not more factory farms."

Bernie Sanders is ready to roll out a plan that will “revitalize rural America” and it includes taking on Big Ag. Agribusiness, such as Bayer-Monsanto, is at the forefront of Sanders’ plan to break up monopolies.

His plan, Revitalizing Rural America, would break up these monopolies by reforming patent laws to protect farmers and pass a bill that would allow farmers to repair their own equipment, Common Dreams reported.

“I come from one of the most rural and the most beautiful states in the United States,” Sanders said. “I will not write off rural America. Maybe I’m kind of radical here, but I think a farmer who produces the food that we eat is maybe almost as important as some crook on Wall Street who destroys the economy.”

Sanders announced his plan during a campaign rally in Osage, Iowa on Sunday. He sided with famers and said that “family farmers are going bankrupt and in many ways are being treated like modern day indentured servants.” But he plans on giving the power back to the farmers with “Roosevelt-style trust-busting laws.”

Sanders’ plan, as outlined on his campaign website, would include:

1) Policies Leveling the Playing Field for Farmers and Farmworkers

2) Policies to Empower Farmers, Foresters & Ranchers to Address Climate Change and Protect Ecosystems

3) Policies to Foster Investment to Revitalize Rural Communities

“Fundamental change in America’s agricultural and rural policies is no longer just an option; it’s an absolute necessity. Farmers, foresters, and ranchers steward rural landscapes, which benefit all Americans. They provide us with essential resources such as food, fiber, building materials, renewable energy, clean water, and habitat for biodiversity. They also have an enormous potential to address climate change. With the right support and policies, we can have rural communities that are thriving economically and ecologically. The following policies will drive a transition in our agricultural system away from a consolidated, profit-driven industrial model to one that rebuilds and restores rural communities.”

As government agriculture policies throughout the years have used a “get big or get out” approach, farmers’ net income has reduced and, as a result, have been driven off the land along with the businesses, jobs and communities they support, Sanders’ campaign website reported.

As Sanders put it, “agriculture is not working for the majority of Americans” and something needs to be done to not only protect rural communities, but also the environment.

“What you want, and what I want, are more family farms in America, not more factory farms,” Sanders said.

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