Over the past 18 months we have seen an election that has divided our nation and our communities. The recent media coverage, or exit polls, or a thousand other instances could bring us to despair of the current challenges facing our country. We encourage everyone to continue to reflect on these realities, but we also want to turn our attention to the future.
The good news is that have more tools at our disposal for tackling climate change than we often realize. In agriculture, farmers can develop and implement practices that sequester carbon, limit greenhouse gas emissions, and employ low-input methods. These and other innovative, time-tested approaches can contribute to solving the conundrum of climate change, as well as promoting sustainable livelihoods for farm families.
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.