Many of us don’t pay much attention to the Farm Bill. This piece of legislation that goes through the US house and senate every four to six years seems to concern farmers, not the general public. When the general public thinks about farmers, we most likely envision hardworking farm families out on their tractors or at work in their dairy barns.
That picture of the American farmer is fading quickly as huge agri-businesses take over our food production. As companies like Cargill, Tyson and Monsanto acquire more and more farmland and meat operations, the quality of our food gets worse and worse. These behemoth factory farms also degrade the soil, use large amounts of toxic chemical fertilizers and pesticides and, for the most part, treat their laborers unfairly. In fact, instances of slavery here in the US have recently been associated with some agribusinesses.
Farmers’ markets depend on smaller, local farmers to provide healthier, chemical free foods in our communities. A local campaign is asking Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, to stand up for Fair Farm Rules legislation that would protect our small farmers from being put out of business by these huge corporations. If you would like information on how to join the campaign, email OKTable1@gmail.com or call OKT at 616-570-0218.