Fight for Fairness for Farmers and Ranchers

Tuesday’s election has distracted most of us from, well, just about everything. We have a lot to do in working with the transition team of the new administration, and getting to know new members of the House and Senate.

However, we still have some work to finish in the waning days of the current administration and with the current Congress. USDA has only 72 days before this administration ends to finish absolutely crucial rules intended to protect the rights of farmers and ranchers who raise poultry and livestock.

And we need your help! We need you to call your representatives and senators to make sure this job gets done! If you live in Iowa, Kansas, Montana or North Dakota, we particularly need your support in calling the lawmakers at the end of this blog.

Here’s the rub - earlier this year, members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture slipped language into a House spending bill that would roll back much-needed protections for ranchers and farmers with livestock.

When family farmers and ranchers question unfair contracts, exercise their freedom of speech, or resist anti-competitive practices, they have limited legal protection right now. USDA, with the support of a coalition of farmer-based groups, is trying to fix this. But if passed, this so-called “rider” language would prevent USDA from finishing the rules that would protect these farmers’ and ranchers’ basic rights.

And now, in the 11th hour, just days after the election, Congress is wasting no time.

Help us make sure that Congress listens to family farmers and ranchers – now more than ever. Can we count on you to make a call?

It’s simple:  just dial a number and leave a message like this with the person who answers the phone:

“Hello, my name is ___ and I’m a constituent (and let them know if you’re a farmer or rancher!).  I would like to leave a message for the person who handles agriculture appropriations, please. Can you take a message for me?  The message is: I urge you to fight for farmers’ free speech and fair competition rights! Please ensure next year’s budget is free of any riders that would curtail these rights for independent livestock producers. Producers deserve a fair shot in the marketplace and should not be subject to abuse from big meatpackers. Thank you for your time.”

It’s as simple as that to stand up for rural and small town America, and especially for family farmers and ranchers. Thank you for all you do.

After you make your call, we would love to hear how it went. Just email us back with any information you’d like to share.

If you live in Iowa, Kansas, Montana or North Dakota, please contact your lawmakers at the following numbers:

Rep. Young, Iowa
(202) 225-5476

Rep. Yoder, Kansas
(202) 225-2865

Sen. Moran, Kansas
(202) 224-6521

Sen. Tester, Montana
(202) 224-2644

Sen. Daines, Montana
(202) 224-2651

Sen. Hoeven, North Dakota
(202) 224-2551

You can also call the Capital switchboard
(202) 224-3121