FYI: [Livestock] Re: agenda for today’s livestock call

Warren’s plan would…

* Appoint federal regulators who would scrutinize mergers in the agriculture industry and reverse those that are anti-competitive.

* Break up agribusinesses that have become too vertically integrated — meaning they control multiple aspects of bringing a product to market.

* Pass a national “right-to-repair” law, similar to one introduced in Wyoming in 2017, that would let farmers repair their own equipment or take it to a mechanic, instead of requiring those repairs to be made at dealerships or authorized agents.

* Give farmers the choice to participate in the so-called “checkoff program,” which requires producers to pay a portion of their sales for promotion and research of their products. The checkoff program has been responsible for commercial campaigns like “Got Milk?” and “The Incredible Edible Egg” but has been criticized for funding lobbyists of large corporations.

* End contract farming. Major companies like Tyson and Perdue hire contract farmers, which raise and care for the company’s product but are required to make expensive upgrades and investments to their farms. Those farmers then become reliant on processing companies for supplying livestock and buying feed.

* Establish new country-of-origin rules that would require beef and pork producers to label where their livestock was raised and slaughtered. Currently, companies can add a “product of U.S.A.” label to meat that was broken down and packaged in the United States but raised in another country. She would push for Mexico and Canada to adopt similar rules.

* Pass a national version of an Iowa law that dates back to the 1970s and forbids any foreign entity from purchasing agricultural land in the state for farming. Elsewhere, 27.3 million acres of farmland is owned by foreign investors, the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found.

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