Kay Doby’s Testimony Before the House Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry (PDF) – Doby, a farmer and president of the N.C. Poultry Grower’s Association, shares her experiences as a contract farmer.
So far, 2017 has been a whirlwind year for our Contract Agriculture Reform Program. We held two premieres of our documentary film, Under Contract: Farmers and the Fine Print, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and at Anthology Film Archives in New York City, and we later held screenings across the country that reached more than 500 people. We’re still riding that wave of initial success to expand our program and our impact.
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.