Fairness for farmers: President Biden and USDA Sec. Vilsack will back programs to assist American ag producers


Tom Lawrence, The South Dakota Standard

Jul 16, 2021


The deck has been stacked against farmers.


President Joe Biden and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack have announced a new deal. It’s time to shuffle the cards on meat-packing and other ag issues.


Biden signed an executive order on Friday, July 9. It’s an important moment for American farmers and the millions of us who rely on their production.


“What we’ve seen over the past few decades is less competition and more concentration that holds our economy back,” he said as he signed an executive order to boost competitiveness in agriculture. “So we know we’ve got a problem — a major problem. But we also have an incredible opportunity. We can bring back more competition to more of the country.”


Vilsack unveiled the plan on Friday, July 9, at Rustic Cuts Butcher Shop in Council Bluffs, Iowa.


“This is a once in a generation opportunity to transform the food system so it is more resilient to shocks, delivers greater value to growers and workers, and offers consumers an affordable selection of healthy food produced and sourced locally and regionally by farmers and processors from diverse backgrounds,” he said.


Farmer advocacy groups have pressed for change for years but Congress and the meat processing industry have resisted, and the Trump administration blocked them as well.


Now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is prepared to act with several sweeping measures...


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