MFU disappointed by USDA secretary’s comments on small farms, calls for fair prices
Oct. 1, 2019
Earlier today, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue said at the World Dairy Expo that he didn’t know if small family dairy farms can survive as the industry evolves and that “in America, the big get bigger and the small go out,” according to the Associated Press.
Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU), a grassroots family farm organization representing a diverse array of agriculture, is disappointed in the secretary’s comments on this matter. This follows not long after Perdue’s controversial statements at Minnesota Farmfest.
“We have a Secretary of Agriculture who, just under two months ago, insensitively joked that farmers are ‘whiners,’ and now is saying that small family farms can’t survive the industry,” said MFU President Gary Wertish. “It’s incredibly frustrating to hear things like this from someone who’s supposed to represent all family farmers. The ‘get big or get out’ business philosophy hasn’t worked. Rather it has caused consolidation in the agriculture industry that’s driven too many family farmers off the farm and hurt rural communities.
“If the USDA really supports the whole of American agriculture, they must drive policy making that earns family farmers a fair price and keeps them on their land, no matter what size they are.”
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Minnesota Farmers Union—Standing for Agriculture, Working for Farmers (www.mfu.org).