Trump Must Choose Between Trump Must Choose Between, by Deena Shanker

Photographer: William Widmer/The New York Times via Redux

Trump Must Choose Between

Farmers and ‘Big Meat’

Rural America was instrumental to his election, but some worry he’ll shelve rules meant to help them in favor of big business.

by Deena Shanker

January 31, 2017, 2:00 AM MST

In November, farmers voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump. Now they’re waiting to see if it pays off.

Among the final actions of the Obama administration were new rules making it easier for chicken farmers—who exist inside a commercial vise constructed by agribusiness—to sue the companies for anti-competitive behavior. The big meat lobbying firms oppose any new rules, and now that the Trump administration has frozen all regulations, it’s unclear if those protections will ever take effect.

Trump won the White House last year in large part thanks to support from rural voters who contend they didn’t fully benefit from the economic recovery. Farm incomes, having reached a record high in 2013, are expected to fall for a third successive year while debt levels have climbed. MORE