Friday, March 31, 2023

Play

Donald Trump indicted by Manhattan grand jury, Georgia campaign fights to reopen local hospitals, and New Mexico creates first-ever $100M conservation fund.

Play

Former President Donald Trump is indicted by Manhattan's district attorney, House Republicans take aim at renewables in new energy bill and House Dems introduce the Women's Protection Health Act.

Play

Small towns respond to a hidden housing and homelessness crisis, a new national weather prediction system will help close the gap between urban and rural forecasting, and more rural communities are eligible for a design project to boost economic development.

Farmers Voice Support for Bill Tackling Monopoly Power

Play

Friday, February 19, 2021   

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Decades of unchecked mergers in the agricultural industry have left many farmers struggling, and rural advocacy groups says a proposal in Congress aims to change that.

The "Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act" would give agencies like the Federal Trade Commission more funding and resources to put a stop to unfair consolidation, and strengthen the rules against monopolies.

Tyler Whitley - Manager of the Challenging Corporate Power program for Rural Advancement Foundation International USA - said current antitrust law has left many farmers at the whim of a handful of major corporations.

He said there's not a lot of room for them to select a different supplier or manufacturer to get the best deal.

"So for a farmer, there may be limited options on where you can buy your seeds from, where you can buy your fertilizer from," said Whitley. "And I don't mean the individual point-of-sale; what I mean is the producer."

One 2016 study estimated that the mergers of Dow with DuPont, and Bayer with Monsanto, would mean an initial jump of more than $1,000 in corn-seed costs for the average U.S. farmer, in the first year alone. But opponents of stricter antitrust laws say allowing free-market competition benefits consumers.

Whitley pointed out big-ag mergers trickle down to most Americans at the grocery store.

"The number of manufacturers has gotten smaller and smaller, especially as some of these companies buy up other ones," said Whitley. "You know, if you're walking down the aisle of your grocery store, and you're looking at frozen poultry, for example, you look down the aisle and you see 20 some-odd brands, but what you probably don't realize is that, of those 20 brands, they're probably owned by four individual companies."

Whitley said he believes the bill is the foundation needed to help growers get the best prices for their products, and continue to innovate in the face of the climate crisis and other challenges.

"This bill will go a long way toward policing some of these mergers that have led to so few options for either buying products or selling products," said Whitley, "especially in rural economies."

The same bill would have implications beyond the ag industry, including for tech monopolies like Facebook, which is currently being sued by the Federal Trade Commission and several states for what they claim are antitrust practices.


get more stories like this via email

Parents, students and teachers are raising concerns over proposed education policies in the Sunshine State. (Pixabay)

Social Issues

Some students, parents and educators plan to rally to send a message to Gov. Ron DeSantis on April Fools' Day. The group of unions, parents and …


Health and Wellness

Small-business owners in North Carolina are reaching out to legislators for help, citing hospital mergers as one reason their health-care costs are …

Environment

A REASONS TO BE CHEERFFUL/SOLUTIONS JOURNALISM NETWORK/WISCONSIN NEWS CONNCECTION COLLABORATION Milwaukee is tied to a wave of freeway removals in th…


Initial money through the American Rescue Plan Act provided education funding to 140 school districts in Tennessee to support post-pandemic academic recovery, student mental health and schools' ability to reopen safely. (f11photo/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Tennesseans aren't the only ones mourning the tragic loss of three children and three adults at this week's shooting at Nashville's Covenant School…

Health and Wellness

Doctors in Iowa are studying the brains of babies to learn more about sleep patterns in adults and teens. The United Health Foundation reports one-…

While more than 3,500 people have been awarded the Medal of Honor since it was created by President Abraham Lincoln, only 65 of them are alive today. (The White House)

Social Issues

While National Medal of Honor Month is ending, plans to develop a museum and monument for the award are continuing. Numerous Medal of Honor …

Social Issues

Construction of the Medal of Honor Museum and Foundation is under way in Arlington, Texas - a place to pay tribute to those who've earned the …

Social Issues

Labor leaders in various industries recently celebrated the 85th anniversary of a federal law that laid the groundwork for registered apprenticeship p…

 

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