GIPSA

30 posts

USDA Betrays Farmers by Terminating Fair Practice Rules

Today, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it would terminate the Interim Final Farmer Fair Practice Rule that was set to go into effect October 19th. Farmers have been calling out to USDA for over a decade to hold big business in livestock industries accountable for unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices. This action today is a step in the wrong direction for rural America, siding with Big Meat and against farmers.

What Debt in Chicken Farming Says About American Agriculture

Poultry farmers are a major contributor to the statistics on rising debt levels in American farming. The contracts they have with Big Chicken companies are also the premiere model for production contract agriculture, which is spreading across agricultural industries. As other agricultural industries move in this direction, they are systematically exposing more farmers to higher stakes in debt related risks.

The current combination of rising farm debt with decreasing farm income means that farmers are facing a financial squeeze, and that should raise serious red flags about the health and sustainability of our agricultural system.

#TBT: Revisiting “The Plucking of the American Chicken Farmer” — 15 Years Later

In 1999, The Baltimore Sun ran a three-part series on the poultry industry and the farmers caught up in the abusive contracts and paralyzing debt that have since become all too common in contract poultry production. The series began with “The Plucking of the American Chicken Farmer,” which detailed the ruination of poultry farmers and pinpointed how some major companies were even cheating their growers. Collectively, the series presented 10 months of investigative work conducted by reporters Dan Fesperman and Kate Shatzkin.