October 3, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Reana Kovalcik
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Farm Consolidation is Not Inevitable
Bold public policy decisions are needed to reverse decades of farm loss and bring back vibrant rural communities
Washington, DC, October 2, 2019 – Independent family farms are the mainstay of American agriculture, the stewards of our land and natural resources, and central members of our rural communities. The recent comments made by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, which harken back to the “get big or get out” mantra that catalyzed the 1980s Farm Crisis, were disrespectful and irresponsible to say the least. Many small and medium-scale family farms are struggling to hold on to their businesses and to their families’ legacies amidst one of the worst downturns in the farm economy in over three decades – a downturn caused in part by this Administration’s policy choices.
Farm consolidation is not an inevitability. The state of our farm economy today is a direct result of our agricultural policies, which have for decades encouraged and subsidized overproduction and turned a blind eye to enforcement of fair trade and anti-trust laws. As a result, just five percent of farms are responsible for producing seventy-five percent of all agricultural sales in this country. Federal policy got us into this mess, and federal policy can help get us out of it.
Instead of shrugging about presumed inevitability, the Secretary should be leading the charge to develop a rational policy framework and strategy to promote economic opportunity across farming and rural economies.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition remains committed to fighting for policies that create a level playing field for all farmers, particularly the farmers and ranchers who hold together America’s “ag of the middle”. We cannot sit idly by and lament farm consolidation. Instead, we are calling on policymakers to come together and take a stand against policies that foster and subsidize consolidation and concentration. Only through bold changes in our country’s farm policy will we be able to reverse these trends and revitalize our farm economies and rural America.
About the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Learn more and get involved at: http://sustainableagriculture.net