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E-M:/ GEPHARDT & Growing America's Agricultural Economy (Iowa Speech excerpts)
- Subject: E-M:/ GEPHARDT & Growing America's Agricultural Economy (Iowa Speech excerpts)
- From: Susan Joy Reagan <email@example.com>
- Date: Fri, 09 Jan 2004 09:16:09 -0500
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- List-Name: Enviro-Mich
- Reply-To: Susan Joy Reagan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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EXCERPT FROM IOWA SPEECH REGARDING CAFO's, their Environmental indiffernece
& their AGRICULTURAL MONOPOLIES etc..
Growing America's Agricultural Economy
September 22, 2003
"Agricultural subsidies should be targeted at family farmers who are struggling
to compete while complying with environmental standards. This would include
firm eligibility rules and far lower limits on subsidy payments.
"I fought alongside Tom Harkin to bring down payment limits in the 2002 farm
bill. As president, I'll work with him to bring them down even more. I'm
also proud to have stood with Tom Harkin in his battle against corporate hog
lots and to include funding for conservation programs in the 2002 farm bill.
"I don't need to tell you the value of targeting giant hog lot owners who
are thumbing their noses at environmental standards while neighbors are holding
their noses and cleaning up the mess. If corporate hog lot executives were
forced to get out there and clean up their own flooded manure lagoons, maybe
then we'd see some change. Wingtips and manure don't exactly mix.
"I believe large corporate hog lots should be solving their environmental
problems without taxpayer subsidies or exemptions from clean air and clean
water laws. It's why I voted to stop large corporate hog farms from receiving
EQIP grant money to build manure lagoons and why, as president, I'll direct
my Environmental Protection Agency to enforce the Clean Air and Clean Water
Acts as they apply to large corporate hog farms. George Bush ordered a halt
to EPA inspections two years ago. When I'm president, we're going to put
those inspectors back to work and enforce the law again.
"The next worst thing to monopolies is agricultural servitude. Contract farmers
are often forced to sign legal agreements that offer them no rights and no
recourse. I intend to change that.
"Your [Iowa] Attorney General Tom Miller has a good idea that I'll
take to the White House and that's a Bill of Rights for Contract Farmers.
Including the right to contract review by a lawyer and an accountant, the
prohibition of binding arbitration clauses, a three-day review and cancel
option, first priority payment when processors go bankrupt, no contract termination
out of retaliation, producer collective bargaining and - the most basic thing
of all - the right to a contract written in plain English. For those who've
been forced into contract farming in order to survive, I don't think any of
these rights are asking too much.