Outline of a Call to Action ...
Family Farms, not Factory Farms
Family farms ... are the only hope
for a sustainable agriculture system
by Rhonda Perry,
Rhonda Perry is the program director of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center. This speech was delivered October 3, 1998 at the annual Farm Aid gathering of U.S. farmers and supporters.
What we've heard loud and clear here today - from citizens all over the country is: Family Farms, not Factory Farms.
Why are people demanding family farms, not factory farms?
Family farms ... are the only hope for a sustainable agriculture system.
Although we know we want family farmers producing food, there are a few obstacles standing in the way:
Corporations know that we would choose family farmers every time we're given a choice. That's why they are corporations when they want millions of dollars in agri-business / corporate welfare, but when they appeal to communities and consumers, they know we want to hear: "Straight from the independent family farmer." The power we have is that we know that they know -- and we're using that power.
Farmers and rural residents and consumers are
1. Farmers and rural citizens are taking on hog factories all across the country by every means possible.
2. Thousands of hog and cattle farmers have signed a petition to end the mandatory pork check off.
3. Black farmers have sued USDA to bring an end to discrimination.
4. Farmers are fighting to change the rules and enforce current anti-trust laws to stop the sweetheart deals between meat packers and factory farms and to ensure true competition in agriculture.
Agribusiness corporations and their political allies like the National Pork Producers Council say nothing will stand in their way in their attempt over the food system.
Nothing will stand in their way
But we're saying that we are going to stand in their way.
|Published in In Motion Magazine December 15, 1998.
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