Barack Obama unveils agriculture plan
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama unveiled his agriculture plan yesterday on the campaign trail in Iowa. The plan includes all kinds of proposals that the Obama camp hopes will excite rural Americans — particularly those who reside in early-primary states. Obama’s ag plans include increasing funding to help farmers transition to organic, reforming the USDA’s crop-insurance program so it doesn’t penalize organic farmers, requiring country-of-origin labeling on meat products, enforcing stricter pollution regulations for CAFOs (concentrated animal-feeding operations), increasing use of ethanol and other biofuels by requiring 60 billion gallons of biofuels in the nation’s fuel supply by 2030, and limiting subsidies to huge agribusiness operations. “Too many family farmers are being squeezed as big agribusiness take up larger shares of federal subsidies, takes up more market share, manipulates prices and contracts, makes it harder for family farmers to control how they run their own farms,” Obama said.