Today, President Trump heads to Nashville to speak to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Convention. Mr. Trump apparently “remains popular in rural America where his deregulatory offensive and tax cuts have won strong support.” (Pay no attention to the tracking polls.) That said (more on “that” in a moment), farmers do want more specifics, like “assurances he won’t … adopt immigration policies that make it harder to hire workers to harvest their crops.” (The LA Times just wrote about this. )
Wonder who (Stephen Miller) thought this might be a good day to announce that this September, the Trump administration will begin mass deportations of up to 262,500 immigrants from El Salvador, one the most dangerous and poorest countries in the world?
But back to the “deregulatory offensive and tax cuts.” Politico notes that Trump's “proposed cuts to the popular crop insurance program and to the Agriculture Department budget have also alarmed many.” Yeah, join the club. But for small rural farmers, there are even more reasons to be alarmed. Very alarmed.
In 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyard Administration withdrew an Obama-era rule “a day before it was set to take effect” that “would have made it easier for independent farmers to bring lawsuits against big food companies they raise chicken and other livestock for.”
The rule aimed to make it easier for farmers to bring companies like Tyson Foods, Pilgrim Pride and Perdue to court over … unfair, deceptive and retaliatory practices. …
[A]dvocates say the interim final rule marked the first step in creating a culture of accountability, particularly in the poultry industry, where they say farmers are forced to compete against each other in what’s often a rigged system.
Farmer Reid Phifer “voted for Trump” but “now wishes he hadn’t.”
“Mad is not even the word for it,” he said. “Remember his campaign on taking care of the little man? The farmer is the little man. Is he taking care of the farmer by rescinding these rules? He’s going to say, ‘I didn’t rescind them.’ Well, you put Sonny Perdue in the position of secretary of Agriculture, so I’m going to have to put the blame on you.”
Yup, mad clearly isn’t the word for any of this.