After YEARS of the Bush Administration
weakening laws on CAFOs, undercutting family farms, and moving our agricultural
communities into ghost towns awash in waste, here, from the White House website
) is a bright sign that there will be support for Michigan and other rural residents to secure
a sustainable, healthy future!
Rural communities face numerous challenges
but also economic opportunities unlike anything we have witnessed in modern
history. President Obama and Vice President Biden believe that together we can ensure
a bright future for rural America.
They will help family famers and rural small businesses find profitability in
the marketplace and success in the global economy.
Ensure Economic Opportunity
for Family Farmers
Safety Net for Family Farmers: Fight for farm programs that provide
family farmers with stability and predictability. Implement a $250,000 payment
limitation so we help family farmers -- not large corporate agribusiness.
Close the loopholes that allow mega farms to get around payment limits.
Anticompetitive Behavior Against Family Farms: Pass a packer ban. When meatpackers
own livestock they can manipulate prices and discriminate against
independent farmers. Strengthen anti-monopoly laws and strengthen producer
protections to ensure independent farmers have fair access to markets,
control over their production decisions, and transparency in prices.
Strictly regulate pollution from large factory livestock farms, with fines
for those that violate tough standards. Support meaningful local control.
Country of Origin Labeling: Implement Country of Origin Labeling
so that American producers can distinguish their products from imported
Organic and Local Agriculture: Help organic farmers afford to certify
their crops and reform crop insurance to not penalize organic farmers.
Promote regional food systems.
Young People to Become Farmers: Establish a new program to identify
and train the next generation of farmers. Provide tax incentives to make
it easier for new farmers to afford their first farm.
with Landowners to Conserve Private Lands: Increase incentives for farmers and
private landowners to conduct sustainable agriculture and protect
wetlands, grasslands, and forests.
Support Rural Economic Development
Small Business Development: Provide capital for farmers to create
value-added enterprises, like cooperative marketing initiatives and
farmer-owned processing plants. Establish a small business and
micro-enterprise initiative for rural America.
Rural America: Modernize an FCC program that supports
rural phone service so that it promotes affordable broadband coverage
across rural America
Leadership in Renewable Energy: Ensure that our rural areas continue
their leadership in the renewable fuels movement.
Improve Rural Quality Of Life
Methamphetamine: Continue the fight to rid our
communities of meth and offer support to help addicts heal.
Healthcare: Work to ensure a more equitable
Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement structure that often gives rural
healthcare providers less money for the very same procedure performed in
urban areas. Attract providers to rural America by creating a loan
forgiveness program for doctors and nurses who work in underserved rural
areas. Promote health information technologies like telemedicine.
Rural Education: Provide incentives for talented
individuals to enter the teaching profession, including increased pay for
teachers who work in rural areas. Create a Rural Revitalization Program to
attract young people to rural America and retain them.
Increase research and educational funding for Land Grant colleges.
Rural Infrastructure: Invest in the core infrastructure --
roads, bridges, locks, dams, water systems and essential air service --
that rural communities need.
Anne Woiwode, State Director
Sierra Club Michigan