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Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

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As Trump accepts nomination for President, delegates emphasize themes of unity and optimism envisioning 'new golden age.' But RNC convention was marked by strong opposition to LGBTQ rights, which both opened and closed the event.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

MO advocates demand fairness in beef labeling, support for small farms

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Wednesday, June 19, 2024   

Family farm advocates are pushing for major changes in the new Farm Bill, including reduced subsidies for large factory farms, mandatory beef country-of-origin labels and measures to boost competition.

Proposals also include creating a meatpacking special investigator position at the USDA, and requiring meatpackers to purchase a set amount of livestock in cash markets.

Noah Earle, a member of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, a farmer and co-owner of Clovers Natural Markets, explained country-of-origin labeling for beef is not controversial among Missourians.

"Regardless of political affiliation, in Missouri you talk to cattle farmers or just citizens who consume beef, everyone agrees that we should have country-of-origin labeling for beef," Earle observed. "That's not controversial here on the ground."

Earle argued not labeling beef lets big meat companies sell foreign beef as American, harming local farmers and shoppers. Advocates want the Farm Bill to boost competition, help small farms and curb big corporations' control.

The U.S. House Agriculture Committee approved its Farm Bill version, but passing the full House is uncertain. Senate Democrats have outlined their version, while Senate Republicans have not yet. The current Farm Bill is an extension from 2018 and ends on Sept. 30. Differences persist in items such as SNAP funding and climate program funds from the Inflation Reduction Act.

Earle criticized the House bill for cutting funds for vital programs.

"The current version of the House farm bill that's been put forward is regressive," Earle contended. "One of the main ways that it's regressive is it's trying to take away funding to feed people that need to eat and the reason they need help with that is because of massive wealth extraction from their communities."

Earle added Congress has had ample time to work on the Farm Bill, yet family farm advocates feel the proposed measures do not go far enough. They called for meaningful changes to foster competition, reduce corporate control and address harmful agricultural practices. The status quo is not sufficient, and they urged Congress to take substantial steps toward a more equitable and sustainable food system.

Disclosure: The Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment contributes to our fund for reporting on Environment, Rural/Farming, Social Justice, and Sustainable Agriculture. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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