Tackling Issues Concerning Farmers

May 05, 2019 11:02 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- The fight over Iowa voters continues. Three U.S. Senators and Democratic Presidential hopefuls were busy campaigning across the state this weekend.

Bernie Sanders currently holds the second spot in an ABC News-Washington Post poll for democratic voter support.


Sunday, he visited Osage, Iowa to address how he will support family farmers.

Iowa Farmer George Naylor—who attended the address is celebrating a huge milestone this year.

“We are celebrating 100 years of farming on this farm this year, and I’m lucky to have both of my sons interested in working on this farm now,” he said.

However, he’s worried for their future raising corn and soybeans.

"I'm afraid family farms will disappear altogether. And we will have enterprises doing the crop farming just like we have big corporations raising livestock now in confinement," he said.

He is working to change that for his sons. That’s why he came out to the Mitchell County Fairgrounds to hear Senator Bernie Sanders outline his platform for agriculture policy.

"The American people are with the family farmers. Don't ever forget that,” Sanders said.

He added that the current system is not supporting them.

"In rural America we are seeing giant agro-business conglomerates extract as much wealth--as much wealth--out of small communities as they possibly can while family farmers are going bankrupt. And in many ways are being treated like modern day indentured servants,” he said.

Sanders promised that as President, he would break up large agro-business corporations, strengthen anti-trust laws and make sure rural residents have the right to sue companies when their genetically altered crops contaminate nearby farms.

The event was open to the public and more than 200 people came out to hear these policies, like John Peters, who joined the farmers union even though he is not a farmer.

"In a rural community, you have to know what's going on. You have to support the people that support the area. If you support the people in the area, then it helps everyone in the area. The farmers union is about that: clean water, clean air, sustainable farming," said Peters.

Just outside the arena, two people protested. Matt Johnson said Sanders needs to take a stronger stance against animal agriculture.

"Animal agriculture is a leading cause of climate change; he says he's a big fighter for climate change which he is on other fronts, but really not addressing the root issue which is animal agriculture,” said Johnson.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates 18% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

However, Johnson said that because of Sanders’ other policies, he’ll still give the Senator his vote.

Farmer Naylor added that he’s impressed with Sanders too.

"I think Senator Sanders will have a chance to communicate with the rest of the nation about how it's important to have family farms and how their economic foundation needs to be solid so they can also be stewards of the land,” he said. 


Talia Milavetz

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