Corporate Farming News

Nebraska Livestock Bills Are Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

The corporate attempt to take over family farm agriculture in Nebraska is back. Three separate bills being debated in the Unicameral, LB 176, 175 and 106, are nothing short of a corporate-driven assault on family farmers and rural communities.

LB 176 would lift Nebraska’s ban on packer ownership for hogs, so long as they do so under contract production. Increasing packer ownership of hogs relegates smaller, family farm producers to the role of residual suppliers, taking lower prices or even lesser contracts at virtually every turn.

Enough is Enough

A bill introduced in the Unicameral, LB 176, would remove restriction on meatpacking corporations owning hogs, as long as the hogs they own are raised by contract growers and not the company.

Although efforts to open the door to packers owning hogs last year were met with stern opposition from family farmers and ranchers, the Center for Rural Affairs, Nebraska Farmers Union and a host of rural and small town Nebraskans, a hauntingly similar bill - LB 176 - has emerged again this year.

Pesticide Use and Depression in Farmers

Organic farming may be as important to the farmers who practice it as to their consumers. Researchers with the National Institute of Health recently completed a landmark, 20-year study of the connection between pesticides and depression in farmers.

According to Dr. Freya Kamel, the study’s lead researcher, scattered reports in the literature about the association between pesticide use and depression led to the desire for further research.

Industrial Poultry and Dairy Operations Slide Under Organic Regulations

Federal organic regulations require that organic poultry and livestock be provided regular access to the outdoors. Dairy cattle and other ruminants must also be provided access to pasture.

Increasingly, massive industrial poultry and dairy facilities are obtaining organic certification. And there’s the rub. It strains all sense of credibility that these industrial confinement operations claim they meet the outdoor and pasture requirements embedded in the nation’s organic laws.


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