Category Archives: Agriculture

December 30, 2021

Victor Davis Hanson on How Environmental Regulations ‘Killed’ Farming in California (Video)

Ostensibly environmental regulations restricting water diversion and use have “killed” farming in California, historian and professor Victor Davis Hanson, author of The Dying Citizen: How Progressive Elites, Tribalism, and Globalization Are Destroying the Idea of America, explained in an interview with Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow.

Marlow asked about California’s stultified agricultural potential while speaking with Hanson at the latter’s almond farm in Selma, CA. The golden state was “the farming Mecca of the world,” he said. “Environmentalism regulation changed that.”

Hanson explained, “The big thing that killed us here is water. California used to have 20 million people, say, in 1978, and they had a beautiful system called the California Water Project and the Central Valley Project — which was federal — and they had all of these dams,  and water, and aqueducts.”

The water table deepens about 40 feet per mile as one travels west from his farm, Hanson stated, driving up the costs of agricultural irrigation. Farming was only made financially viable with the California Water Project and Central Valley Project.


Complete text and video linked here.

October 17, 2021

Ranchers Across The Country Raise Over $300 Million To Build Beef Plant In Effort To Compete With Industry Power

“We’ve been complaining about it for 30 years,” Kemp said, reported Fox. “It’s probably time somebody does something about it.”

Ranchers from across the country have raised over $300 million to build a slaughterhouse in Nebraska, Fox News reported.

Construction on the new Sustainable Beef slaughterhouse will start this fall on 400 acres of land in Nebraska, according to Fox News.

Rusty Kemp, a Nebraska rancher, launched an effort to build a sustainable beef plant because the price of cattle, despite the rising cost of meat, continue to decline, Fox reported.

Profits in the beef market have increased steadily since 2016 but the share of every dollar spent on food that goes to ranchers has gone from 35 cents in the 1970s to 14 cents recently, according to Fox News.


Complete text linked here.

July 7, 2021

Lawmakers want to ban China from buying more U.S. farmland (Video)

China currently owns almost 200,000 acres of U.S. farmland. 

House lawmakers want to put the brakes on U.S. farmland owned by China. 

The House Appropriation Committee approved an amendment to the USDA funding bill. Not only would it ban China from buying any more farmland, but it would also bar current land from being eligible for farm subsidies.


Complete text and video linked here.

April 30, 2021

White farmers sue feds over being banned from government program ‘solely due to their race’

“Because plaintiffs are ineligible to even apply for the program solely due to their race, they have been denied the equal protection of the law and therefore suffered harm.”

A group of white Midwestern farmers has filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration for racial discrimination over being banned from a loan forgiveness program offered only to farmers of color, due to the fact that they are ineligible “solely due to their race.”

What are the details?

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty is representing the plaintiffs from Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota and Ohio in their suit against U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack and Farm Service Agency administrator Zach Ducheneaux.

Their complaint argues that a loan program as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for “socially disadvantaged” farmers is unconstitutional because it is race-based.


Complete text linked here.

February 14, 2021

No Americans Wanted: Rural Employers Seek More Visa Workers from Amnesty Deal

Robots are replacing unskilled migrants in American farm jobs, but farmers still want skilled migrants to operate the robots, says the president of a major farm advocacy group.

“While advances in robotics have replaced some farm jobs, we need skilled employees to manage that equipment,” said Zippy Duvall, the president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. In a February 3 post on the groups’ website, he wrote:

U.S. agriculture needs a flexible guest-worker program that allows contract and at-will employment options that work for both seasonal and year-round needs on the farm. We also need to make sure wage requirements take into account the economic conditions of the agriculture industry and enable farms to remain viable.

The “guest worker” program cited by Duvall refers to the H-2A program. Democrats are signaling they are will expand it — if farmers persuade GOP legislators to be OK on an amnesty to lock in Democratic political and economic dominance for many years.


Complete text linked here.

November 22, 2020

‘Justice’ bill would transfer up to 32 million acres to Black farmers

The 32 million acres is nearly seven times the 4.7 million acres now in black farms.

Black-owned farmland could expand sevenfold under a bill filed by three Democratic senators on Thursday to reverse decades of discriminatory practices by the Agriculture Department, sometimes called “the last plantation.” The Justice for Black Farmers Act would enable Black farmers to acquire up to 160 acres apiece at no charge through a USDA system of land grants.

Under the bill, an Equity Commission would study the legacy of discrimination at the USDA and suggest reforms that could reach the farmer-elected county committees that help guide operations at local USDA offices. An independent board would hear appeals of civil rights complaints decided by USDA officials.

At their peak, in 1920, there were 925,708 Black farmers, accounting for 17%, or about one-sixth, of U.S. farmers. A century later, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, there were 35,470 farms with Black producers — just 1.7% of the U.S. total. The government agreed in the so-called Pigford settlements of 1999 and 2010 to compensate Black farmers who were harmed by discriminatory practices, such as the denial of USDA loans and slow handling of civil rights complaints.


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December 27, 2017

Profs: Farmers’ markets cause ‘environmental gentrification’

Two San Diego State University professors contributed a chapter to a new anthology arguing that farmers’ markets are “insidious” “white spaces where the food consumption habits of white people are normalized.” While farmers’ markets are often established as a way of fighting “food deserts” in low-income areas, the professors complain that 44 percent of San Diego farmers’ markets are located in census tracts with high levels of gentrification.

Two San Diego State University (SDSU) professors recently criticized farmers’ markets for being “white spaces” that contribute to the oppression of minorities.

Pascale Joassart-Marcelli and Fernando J Bosco, two geography professors at SDSU, criticized the “whiteness of farmers’ markets” in a chapter for Just Green Enough, a new anthology published by Routledge in December.

The anthology, which features contributions from a variety of professors, aims to highlight the harms of “environmental gentrification,” a process in which “environmental improvements lead to…the displacement of long-term residents.”

Farmers’ markets are one such environmental improvement that can lead to gentrification, Bosco and Joassart-Marcelli argue, saying farmers’ markets are “exclusionary” since locals may not be able to “afford the food and/or feel excluded from these new spaces.”


Complete text linked here.

June 25, 2017

Donald Trump Vows to Protect Legacy of Family Farms in America

“American farmers and ranchers are the best — absolute best at what they do,” he said. “And they can compete anywhere if they are given a level playing field.”

President Donald Trump celebrated farmers in Iowa on Wednesday, vowing to help protect the legacy of American farms.

“Family farmers are the backbone of America, and my administration will always support the farmer,” Trump said during a speech in Iowa this week.

The president traveled to Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to highlight new farming technology.

“I’m not a farmer, but I’d be very happy to be one,” Trump said. “It’s a very beautiful world to me, and it’s a truly noble American profession.”

He recalled a quote from George Washington saying that he would “rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world.”

“We understand that, especially after I’ve spent all this time in Washington,” Trump said.

Speaking in front of a Case and a John Deere tractor, Trump spoke about the importance of fair trade for their products.


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March 25, 2016

Farmer: Obama Lied to Me About Water, Drought

A Central Valley farmer with whom President Obama met and posed for photo-ops in 2014 is slamming the White House’s new water plan, saying he was misled about Obama’s intention to listen to farmers’ demands for water.

“I did have a sense of hope and he could have helped us,” Joel Del Bosque told local ABC News affiliate KFSN 30. “My focus was just telling him what we do we grow food for the country and we can’t do it without water.”

Instead, however, President Obama’s eight-page “executive action” plan on water, released Tuesday, says nothing at all about increasing farmers’ access to water. Instead, it calls for data collection, communication by federal agencies, new research, and papers — in other words, more bureaucratic activity, rather than more water storage or water allocations.

In observance of World Water Day on Tuesday, the White House convened what was billed as a “first-of-its-kind” summit on water. The meeting, which the Fresno Bee reports was attended by California Democrats including Rep. Jerry McNerney and Rep. Jared Huffman, focused on water conservation — but did not address the fact that the federal government prioritizes the endangered delta smelt fish over the needs of farmers, often flushing out hundreds of thousands of acre-feet to sea.

California’s Republicans, who back a water bill that is stuck in the U.S. Senate, did not attend.


Complete text linked here.

December 24, 2015

Saudi Hay Farm In Arizona Tests State’s Supply Of Groundwater

The idea that another country would come and essentially export your water via crops just wasn’t really around 30, 40 years ago. And so the laws that are in place are really inadequate for dealing with this new trend.

Outside of Phoenix, in the scorching Arizona desert, sits a farm that Saudi Arabia’s largest dairy uses to make hay for cows back home.

That dairy company, named Almarai, bought the farm last year and has planted thousands of acres of groundwater-guzzling alfalfa to make that hay. Saudi Arabia can’t grow its own hay anymore because those crops drained its own ancient aquifer.

Reporter Nathan Halverson tells NPR’s Renee Montagne that Almarai bought about 15 square miles in the Arizona desert.

“They got about 15 water wells when they purchased the property. Now, each one of those wells can pump about 1.5 billion gallons of water. It’s an incredible amount of water they’re going to be drawing up from that aquifer underground,” Halverson says.

The land in question had previously been under cultivation for corn, cotton and other crops, including smaller amounts of alfalfa for hay, he tells The Salt. Halverson’s sources told him that the farm is now consuming significantly more water, since alfalfa is a particularly thirsty crop.


Complete text linked here.