Farm and Food News

What's All the Yellin' About?

I hate to say I told you so, but I did. In June, USDA published a new draft rule regarding how meatpackers must deal with farmers and ranchers in the procurement of livestock and poultry. But the packers don't like it and are pitching a fit, just as I said they would.

Making a Living, Making a Life

By Aubrey Streit Krug

As I intern at the Center for Rural Affairs, I’m learning about how the agricultural economy we have now is not inevitable. It can be changed.

Our ag economy is human-made. It’s been shaped by incentivizing and spurred by subsidies. It’s a sticky global system that often entangles the small and leaves loopholes for the large. It’s a way only a few people can make a living. For people in rural places--and for me, as a person with roots and family in a rural place--it’s at the root of dramatic conflicts.

Take these two scenarios:

Corporate Farming Notes

USDA has released a new rule defining what constitutes an “unreasonable preference,” which is clearly prohibited by the Packers and Stockyards Act. Meatpackers have given huge volume-based premiums to the largest hog and cattle producers for decades, helping them drive smaller, family farm and ranch livestock producers out of business.

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