A Democrat’s obsessive quest to change the way America is farmed and fed
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: August 15th, 2023
Each year for the last 26 years – nearly his entire tenure in the US Congress – Earl Blumenauer has advocated for a law that would utterly transform US agriculture. Nearly every time, though, his proposals have been shut down. Even so, he persists. Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon, wants to see a version of US agriculture that centers people, animals and the environment, rather than the large-scale, energy-intensive commodity crop farms that currently receive billions of dollars in subsidies. Blumenauer’s newest plan, the Food and Farm Act, was introduced earlier this year, as an alternative to the farm bill – the package of food and agricultural policies passed every five years that is up for renewal this fall. His proposal would redirect billions of dollars away from subsidies for commodity farms towards programs that support small farmers, climate-friendly agriculture and increasing healthy food access. “Most of us don’t even know that the public dollars initially designed to protect farmers and keep supply managed to feed a hungry nation in the Great Depression are now reinforcing wealthy agribusiness corporations to grow commodities that are not even meant for human consumption,” said Joshua Newell, a policy analyst. Most of the farms excluded from subsidy payments are those using sustainable growing methods that preserve soil and benefit the climate. Blumenauer’s bill would ... ensure more funding goes toward sustainable farming practices.