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Recent posts by Anna Johnson

Help rural American farmers and ranchers by finalizing USDA rules

Farmers and ranchers have waited years for USDA to institute basic fairness protections in the contract poultry and livestock industry.

USDA seemed to be making progress last year, when it began accepting comments on three rules. The Center for Rural Affairs submitted comments to the Federal Register supporting all three rules and posted them to our website.

President’s 2018 budget undercuts rural communities

President Trump’s budget released on May 23 demonstrates his lack of understanding and prioritization of the struggles of rural communities.

Although Trump won the presidency with broad support from rural voters, his budget proposes to zero out several programs that address the challenges of rural communities. Proposed cuts include reducing or eliminating support for rural small businesses and entrepreneurs and compromising anti-poverty programs that lead to healthy families.

Leopold Center preserved; funding redirected

Late last week, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad vetoed a provision in a budget bill that would have eliminated the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. (We sent a letter to Iowa lawmakers that can be found here.)

His action provides for the continued existence of the Leopold Center; however, state funds previously allocated to the Leopold Center will be transferred to the Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University.

Tell Sec. Perdue to stop delaying fairness rules

The new Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, has a big job ahead in running the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). One important opportunity he has is to bring greater fairness to contract livestock production. This would bolster economic growth in many of the rural communities that brought his boss, President Trump, to office.

Right now, Sec. Perdue is accepting comments on whether an important rule that would bring greater fairness to poultry and livestock production should take effect as originally intended or whether it should be delayed or stopped altogether.

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