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Agricultural Reform, 21st Century Renaissance for American Farms and Ranches

The Hart Cunningham Administration agriculture agenda embraces the full chain from seed to commodities market with logic and consideration of sustainable practices. The administration will legislate new programs and laws that rethink and support our current agriculture systems in America. The Hart Cunningham Administration proposes the modernization of America’s agriculture in programs that bring efficiency and sustainability that will include these initiatives:

• NAFTA Reengineered to Todays US Farmer Competitiveness

• Infrastructure Package to Include New Roads, Bridges, Shipping, and Security

• Immigration Reform Package Offering Merit Basis Citizenship and Permits for Day Laborers

• Fostering R&D in Sustainable Farms, Including Special Programs for Tiered and Organic Farming

• Restore Government and Farm Business Partnership; Halt Draconian Bureaucratic Penalties Drive Farms Our of Business

• Increase and Secure Broadband Internet for Better Farm Production

• Legislate Protection for Independent Farms from Large Corporate Predatory Practices

NAFTA Reengineered to Todays US Farmer Competitiveness

The Hart Cunningham administration plans to review North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, favors the United States in the deal’s we have. The current administration has mentioned numerous times a plan to end the NAFTA, which would put many US farmers out of business. American farms export about 50% of our wheat alone under the NAFTA deal. Terminating the trade agreement is not wise, many farms would go out of business if our trade deals to export ended, but restructuring the contract to meet today’s agricultural standard and practices are logical.

Infrastructure Package to Include New Roads, Bridges, Shipping, and Security

Our roads and bridges are crumbling; our trains need modernization, our trucking industry needs infrastructure that provides security. The Hart Cunningham administration plans for significant investment to improve freeway and roads, network and systems that are vital to agriculture transport.

Immigration Reform Package Offering Merit Basis for Farm Workers

Productive farms and ranches depend on immigrant workers from planting to harvest, year round, to be successful. There are not enough American citizens applying for these same demanding jobs. The current administration wants to stop Mexican immigrant day labor from entering the United States. In a battle against “illegals,” the anti-immigrant right has unleashed not only cowboy justice along the U.S.-Mexico border but also public protests at worker centers and home improvement stores where mostly immigrant men gather in search of work.[1] Groups like Save Our State, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, and the Minutemen have targeted these day laborers (jornaleros) in the face of undocumented immigration, blaming an easy target. The estimated earnings per day laborer are not more than 15,000 annually per worker, placing them in the working poor, earned in reported abusive conditions. The Hart Cunningham administration Immigration Task Force will help to introduce new legislative protections of merit-based citizenship or work permits that protect both farmer and day laborer. The demand for immigrant day laborer has not abated; a workable solution will increase productivity, save resources in policing and help American farms and ranches to be competitive.

Fostering R&D in Sustainable Farms, Special Programs for Vertical and Organic Farming

The Hart Cunningham Administration will re-institute the measure for Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Proposed (OLPP) final rule published in January 2017. USDA believes the OLPP final rule exceeded USDA’s statutory authority beyond the intent of the Organic Foods Production Act.[2] The measure removed by the current administration implemented biosecurity concerns. Safe, humanely raised livestock, while potentially more costly, is critical for the health of Americans in the long run. The Cunningham administration will fund grants for organic farms, and invest in research to create sustainable, eco-friendly, large-scale farming. We have the technology; we need to make it scalable in such new techniques as vertical and tiered farming methods. We will provide R&D granting to our focused agricultural universities and create programs that partnership with farmers and provide startup and equipment packages.

Restore Government and Farm Business Partnership; Halt Draconian Bureaucratic Penalties Drive Farms Our of Business

The US Dept. of Agriculture, influence is broad and effects not only the health of our nation and many other countries but the world commodities markets. Farmers can remember a time of cooperation and partnership in working with the USDA, now with regulations such as the Clean Water Act (CWA) many farmers and ranchers embroiled in exorbitant fines for infractions that are draconian. As the agency micromanages farms and ranches in America with a result of driving many out of business, the current administration has tightened controls and regulations even further. Families that have farmed or ranched the same land for generations cope with the multi-government agency controls. Conflicting legislation, contrary to reason, determine how deep farmers can plow. These rules, enforced with massive multi-million dollar fines to those deemed guilty of infractions.[3] The Cunningham administration supports farmers and will work to resolve a sustainable plan for farms and ranches by open forum without penalty for farmers to voice their concerns and find the best practices to keep them in business growing and raising America’s food. At the same time, we will seek out the best standards and latest technologies for farm and ranch sustainability. Hart Cunningham will halt government bureaucratic micromanagement of farms and ranches.

Increase and Secure Broadband Internet for Better Farm Production

Many of America’s farms are underserved with internet connectivity, and broadband. The Cunningham administration will invest in infrastructure and provide greater access to broadband for the farming communities. The FCC estimates that in urban areas, 97% of Americans have access to high-speed fixed service. But in rural areas, it is 65%, and 60% on tribal lands, addressing the issue is one of the keys to improving agricultural prosperity. Without access to high quality, affordable broadband service, workers have fewer opportunities for good-paying jobs, farmers and business owners isolated from new markets. [4] Measures to increase broadband have stalled with the current administration; the Hart Cunningham administration will fast forward delivery of access to high-speed internet for rural areas.

Legislate Protection for Independent Farms from Large Corporate Agra Control

The Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association (OSGATA) vs. Monsanto is a landmark legal case attempting to protect family farmers from Monsanto’s aggressive patent infringement lawsuits and unwanted genetic contamination that results when Monsanto’s patented, GMO pollen blowing across farmer’s fences and contaminates their crops against their wishes. To enforce their legal patents on their genetically engineered genes, Monsanto regularly sends their seed police out in rural America to trespass on farmer’s fields and steal their plants to take them back to their labs for testing.

Since 1997, one year after the approval of Monsanto’s GMO Roundup Ready soy beans, the world’s leading chemical and biotech seed company admits to filing 150 lawsuits against America’s family farmers, while settling another 700 out of court for undisclosed amounts. During this time, Monsanto has investigated an average of more than 500 family farmers each year. [5]

Still engaged in aggressive lawsuits and investigations, big agricultural corporations drove dozens of farmers into bankruptcy. The Hart Cunningham administration will stand firm with the American farmer, protecting them from the predatory practices of an essentially corporate agricultural takeover.

In Summary

The Hart Cunningham administration stands for United States Agricultural program that is modernized and prosperous. We stand with our American farmers and ranchers and reign in a renaissance of sustainable, logical technology to our agricultural chain from seed and rootstock to table.

[1] nacla.org

[2] ams.usda.gov

[3] agweb.com

[4] farmpolicynews.illinois.edu

[5] fooddemocracynow.org/

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