Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON)
432 N. 10th Ave, Broken Bow, NE 68822, (308) 880-1505
Feb. 5, 2020– NEWS RELEASE
For more information, contact:
ICON President: Jim Dinklage 402-340-6791
ICON Director: Al Davis 308-458-9948
ICON Communications Director: Maureen Cain 308-880-1505
ICON signs national letter to President Trump
The Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska have signed on to a letter to President Donald Trump calling for the end of federal policies that are steadily eliminating family farms across the United States.
“The federal government has been both an active and passive player in the demise of the family farm,” the letter says.
The letter, signed by 11 agriculture groups, calls for a seat at the table when government agricultural policy is created.
It was authored by Gerald Carlin, the Chairman of Policy Development for Farm Women United.
“Family farms are the backbone of this country and they cannot receive a just economic reward for their labor,” the letter says.
The signatories cite an “ever-deepening crisis in agriculture (that) goes back many decades because farmers have no power in the marketplace” and calls on Trump to scrutinize the actions of USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue.
“Is it time for a change to another Secretary of Agriculture, one who will finally listen to real farmers, not the “industry?” the signatories ask. “We need a seat at the table. If USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue is not this advocate, he should resign or be fired.”
Perdue “dances around difficult issues like a typical politician and seems to attend mostly short-notice meetings with ‘establishment ag’ figureheads,” the letter says.
The status quo of “globalization, corporatization, and consolidation continues unabated,” seemingly with Perdue’s blessing, the letter says.
The federal government has also imposed burdensome regulations on family farmers, including prohibiting public schools from serving whole milk, to the detriment of dairy farmers.
To remedy the situation, the letter calls for Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) to include beef, pork, and dairy products.
Certainly, people should know what country their food comes from, the letter says.
The letter also calls on Trump to address “market concentration and the shortage of, or absence of, competitive markets.”
“We strongly agree with the Farm Women United,especially in calling for Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling,” ICON President Jim Dinklage said. “Livestock prices have never recovered from all-time highs when we had COOL.”
A copy of the letter is attached, signed by the Cattle Producers of Louisiana, Colorado Independent Cattle Growers Association, Contract Poultry Growers Association of the Virginias, Mike Eby Family Farm Activist, Family Farm Defenders, Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska, Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance, Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire (NOFA-NH), Oklahoma Independent Stockgrowers Association, Progressive Agriculture Organization and R-CALF USA.