Farming is an integral part of our strength, but Indiana’s Corn and soybean farmers are mired in a multi-year slump, made worse by the Republicans’ losing trade wars. Climate-related catastrophes have severely damaged farm country in recent years, including the soil–destroying bomb-cyclone storms that slammed the corn belt this spring. Big agri-business thrives on overproduction while small farmers work hard and suffer. Farmers experience traumatic injury, respiratory illness, chemical exposure, hearing loss and have a higher suicide rate than most other professions. They say farming is more than a job, it’s a lifestyle. All too often it is more than one job, it is two. Half of US farmers are forced to work second, off-farm jobs to make ends meet.
We need agricultural policies that strengthen Indiana farmers. We need to find ways for Indiana farmers to weather, and even profit from climate change. We can put an end to debilitating overproduction practices by going back to proven supply management practices. We need to give farmers an edge in their dealings with big agri-business. We need to do everything we can to protect their health and well-being.
It’s not enough to just help farmers survive the ravages of climate change, we need to help them profit from it. We are already paying farmers to to fight climate change through the Conservation Stewardship Program, we can pay them more. And we can also expand the Farm-to-School program to all federally supported public institutions, including military bases and hospitals. Socialism, cries big agri-business? No, that’s Democracy.
Big agri-business, including seed, pesticide, meatpacking and grain traders hate supply management because they profit most when farmers work themselves to death.
As your representative in Congress, I will do everything that can be done with the office’s power to help and protect this vital Indiana way of life. My door will always be open, and don’t be surprised if I come knocking on your door to learn more about the farm issues that matter most to you and your neighbors.