Saturday, December 4, 2021


A new report shows, despite getting billions under the American Rescue Plan, many airlines continue to disrupt travelers' plans with cancellations, and Congress averts a government shutdown for now.


U.S. House passes a stopgap government funding bill; the Omicron variant is found in Minnesota; Biden administration revives the "Remain in Mexico" policy; and the Bidens light the National Christmas Tree.


Seniors in non-urban areas struggle with hunger disproportionately; rural communities make a push for federal money; and Planned Parenthood takes a case to the Montana Supreme Court.

New Campaign Aims to Take Bite Out of Big Ag


Friday, October 1, 2021   

JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- Actions continue in Washington, DC, to address longstanding market fairness issues within agriculture, but those behind a new campaign do not want progress derailed in helping smaller farmers in North Dakota and elsewhere.

The National Farmer's Union is out with its new Fairness for Farmers campaign, which aims to keep market concentration issues out in the open.

A main area of concern has been cattle, with four companies able to purchase and process roughly 80% of beef in America.

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said many farmers west of the Mississippi River are still reeling from drought conditions, and policymakers cannot leave them behind right now.

"By taking a bite out of consolidation, then the meatpacking industry hopefully can start on moving towards addressing other anticompetitive behavior that has come to dominate every sector of the ag industry and give an advantage back to the family farmers and ranchers of this nation," Tester stated.

In July, President Joe Biden signed an executive order calling on many levels of government to better enforce laws against anticompetitive behavior, including ag consolidation.

Congress is considering several bills, such as one that deals with truth in labeling. There is also an ongoing class-action lawsuit against the "Big Four" meatpacking companies.

A key industry group has pushed back against the efforts, saying they will lead to unintended consequences for customers and producers.

Mark Watne, president of the North Dakota Farmers Union, said collectively, the actions could eventually force some of the firms who have long dominated the beef industry to loosen some of their grip.

"I think there is a potential that they'll be forced to sell off some plants because they have just a little bit too much control," Watne asserted.

Among other things, the campaign renews calls for more small, local meat plants. Watne acknowledged forcing the main companies to minimize their presence is still some time from happening, noting follow-through from policymakers is needed, for it to reach a realistic outcome.

Disclosure: North Dakota Farmers Union contributes to our fund for reporting on Rural/Farming Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Indigenous people in Peru demonstrate against oil drilling in 2013. (Amazon Watch)


LOS ANGELES -- California-based facilities are refining half of all the oil drilled in the Amazon rain forests, according to a new report by the …


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- People who live on the Navajo Nation near the San Juan Basin are closely following work by the Environmental Protection Agency (…

Social Issues

PHOENIX -- A new report shows, despite getting billions of dollars from the federal government under the American Rescue Plan, many airlines continue …

From left, Andrea Comer, committee chairwoman, Connecticut Social Equity Council, and Carlton Highsmith, Joseph Carbone and Fred McKinney announce the Alliance for Cannabis Equity on Tuesday in Hamden, Conn. (The Narrative Project)

Social Issues

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Connecticut is among several states working on what its new recreational marijuana industry will look like, and a new coalition …

Social Issues

PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis. -- Broadband gaps affect many facets of life, including education. The new federal infrastructure plan includes money to expand …

Hastings-on-Hudson is currently the highest-ranking town in New York State's Climate Smart Communities program. (Adobe Stock)


HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- One of the major takeaways from last month's big climate conference in Scotland is, all levels of government need to …

Social Issues

ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) has released a new report this week, with recommendations from educators about how best to …

Social Issues

BALTIMORE, Md. -- Maryland civil rights groups are proposing a lawsuit against Baltimore County if it adopts its current redistricting plan, claiming …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021