US60 - Support NFU's "Market Driven Inventory System"
MDIS, the "Farmer Owned Reserve" program of the National Farmers Union is an alternative to NFFC's Food from Family Farms Act, and both should be supported. While NFFC's FFFA is the strongest, this asks a different strategic question to Congress, to keep even more pressure on, whenever they say no.
The story of MDIS is that it responds to farm market prices, 1998-2010. Like the NFFC bill, this is backed by econometric studies showing how subsidies can be eliminated (or in this case, greatly reduced,) without devastating family farmers. 1998-2005 we had the lowest farm commodity prices in history (ie. 6+ of 10 lowest, 2010 $.) Then we had some prices 3x higher (but not near record levels, if adjusted for inflation).
This program is set up to make agribusiness pay higher prices during the low period, and also protect consumers, livestock interests, processors, etc. from the much higher prices. It uses a new kind of price floors and ceilings, backed by supply management.
There are progressive proposals for subsidy caps and other farm subsidy reforms, but none of them make agribusiness pay higher prices to farmers. For example, CAFOs benefited hugely from the low prices of 1981-2006, as did the makers of transfats and high fructose corn syrup. Meanwhile Least developed Countries were devastated by US export dumping (at below our costs). We lost money on exports, causing massive food poverty, such as driving 2.4 million Mexican corn farmers off the land. We ran most of our own farmers out of business in the process. They lost "value-added" livestock to CAFOs
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