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Missouri farmers seek protection in next farm bill
Missouri Ag Connection - 11/16/2023

Advocates for Missouri's small family farms visited the U.S. Capitol to discuss with lawmakers how the next Farm Bill could better protect the nation's food resources and family farmers.

Nearly 200 groups have written a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, urging him to reconsider including conservation practices supporting factory farms, which often contribute to local pollution problems.

Tim Gibbons, communications director for the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, expressed concern about the USDA's decision to allow mega-farms to qualify for "climate smart" conservation payments. He believes that this decision is controversial and harmful to family farmers, consumers, the environment, and the economy.

Gibbons emphasized the need to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used to support family farmers and provide consumers with access to locally produced meats and other farm products. He also believes that the Inflation Reduction Act should have specific safeguards in place to protect small farmers and prevent factory farms from taking advantage of tax breaks.

The letter to Secretary Vilsack claims that industrial farming practices exacerbate climate change, waste taxpayer dollars, and harm Indigenous and underserved communities, all of which contradict the intent of the Inflation Reduction Act.

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