Biden’s competition order shows real rural understanding and advocacy for farmers’ rights – Dakota Free Press
One of my neighbors from Aberdeen who voted for a Manhattan billionaire for president complains on Twitter that the Biden administration is “disconnected from rural America. ”
She and all of my rural neighbors should read one of the opening paragraphs of President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the U.S. Economy, in which President Biden concisely expresses an in-depth understanding of the key market challenges facing Rural America is facing:
The consolidation of the agricultural industry makes the survival of small family farms too difficult. Farmers are stuck between market power concentrated in the agricultural input industries – suppliers of seeds, fertilizers, feed and equipment – and market power concentrated in the sales channels of agricultural products. As a result, farmers’ share of the value of their agricultural products has declined, and poultry farmers, pig farmers, cattle ranchers and other farm workers are struggling to maintain their autonomy and generate sustainable income. [President Joe Biden, Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy, 2021.07.09].
In a hyperlinked fact sheet on the pro-competition order, the White House notes that while the previous administration “systematically weakened” the Packers and Stockyards Act, President Biden is ordering the Agriculture Department to United States and the Federal Trade Commission to support farmers rather than their overlords:
In the Order, the President:
- Directs USDA to consider issuance new rules under the Slaughterhouses and Stockyards Act make it easier for farmers to make and win claims, prevent chicken processors from exploiting and underpaying chicken farmers, and adopt protections against retaliation for farmers who denounce bad practices.
- Directs USDA to consider issuance new rules defining when meat can carry “Product of USA” labels, so consumers have accurate and transparent labels that allow them to choose products made here.
- Direct USDA to develop a plan to increase opportunities for farmers to access markets and receive a fair return, including by supporting alternative food distribution systems such as farmers’ markets and developing standards and labels so that consumers can choose to buy products that treat farmers fairly.
- encourages the FTC to prevent powerful equipment manufacturers from restricting people’s ability to use independent repair shops or do DIY repairs, such as when tractor companies prevent farmers from repairing their own tractors [White House Fact Sheet: Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy, 2021.07.09].
In this unique order, President Biden shows a practical understanding of the rural economy deeper than the previous administration did in four years of shouting, posing and thumbs up. If you support rural America, you support President Biden’s initiatives for farmers’ rights.