Des Moines – A plan to ensure fair prices for farmers is the most important structural change needed to make independent family farming economically viable and rural communities thrive.
“The inclusion of price floors, parity, and supply management in the "Revitalizing Rural America” plan that Sen. Bernie Sanders Campaign released last week is groundbreaking and transformative,” said Hugh Espey, executive director of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund.
“It is a critical change that’s necessary to make independent family farming economically viable and rural communities thrive,” said Espey
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement has been fighting for fair prices since it was founded in 1975.
Espey called on the rest of the presidential field to also commit to higher price floors, parity, and supply management to complete their own plans for rural America.
Elizabeth Warren has led with a robust anti-trust policy for the agriculture sector. Meanwhile, many other candidates have critiqued Trump's tariffs and trade wars, and most talk about investing in rural infrastructure.
These policies are all necessary but not enough to end the economic, environmental, and political crises created by corporate agriculture and to create the conditions for independent family farmers to thrive.
Noticeably missing from Sanders’ rural plan is a factory farm moratorium on new large-scale Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement will continue to push Sanders, and other presidential candidates, to commit to a factory farm moratorium to stop the construction of new large-scale CAFOs. Democratic presidential contenders must address the proliferation of corporate factory farms. That means a moratorium.
George Goehl, director of People’s Action, said presidential candidates who are bold enough to stand up to corporate agriculture will stand out in the crowded primaries.
“Candidates who really want to connect with rural voters should offer evidence that they are going to fight for issues that face people in rural communities everyday: corporate agriculture that threatens their water, air, and family farms is at the top,” said Goehl.
On May 3, Sen. Sanders attended an issue briefing with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund to listen to their vision for a more just food and farm system. Two days later, Sanders laid out his agriculture platform that mirrored the proposals Iowa CCI Action Fund has been pushing for decades.
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund has invited the major presidential candidates to attend issue briefings with Iowa CCI Action to learn about the issues that are most important to Iowans, Iowa CCI Action Fund will also be hosting a presidential forum Sept. 21, 2019 in Des Moines.
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (c3) and CCI Action Fund (c4) are the largest organized, progressive constituency in the state with more than 5,100 dues-paying members in 98 of Iowa’s 99 counties. Iowa CCI is part of the People’s Action Network
People’s Action is the largest and fastest growing multiracial, working class people’s network in the country with more than a million people in 48 member organizations across 32 states We fight for racial, gender, social and economic justice.