How Food Giants Gobble Up Family Farms

GUARDIAN.UK How America’s food giants swallowed the family farms | Sat 9 Mar 2019….
Barb and Jim are the last family still working the land, after their neighbours were picked off by waves of collapsing commodity prices and the rise of factory farming. With that came a vast transfer in wealth as farm profits funnelled into corporations or the diminishing number of families that own an increasing share of the land. Rural communities have been hollowed out.

EARTH CUSTODIANS: Yes, that is really how it works, the bigger the businesses the more power they have to drag prices down… and this is a well documented tactic to bankrupt smaller competitors and buy them for pennies on the dollar.

And while the Kalbachs have hung on to their farm, they long ago abandoned livestock and mixed arable farming for the only thing they can make money at any more – growing corn and soya beans to sell to corporate buyers as feed for animals crammed by the thousands into the huge semi-automated sheds that now dominate farming, and the landscape, in large parts of Iowa.

Factory farming itself being already a grave nuisance to the environment, those “once indenepent farmers” end up contributing to the downward spiral fuled by profit seeking. That is what happens when thinking that evil cannot be defeated. Every time we fail to stand up for ourselves, evil prospers further.

How many people are tolerating a job they hate just because they have bills to pay? It is the same scenario at another level. Thinking that one must endure coercion for the sake to make a living is why servitude infiltrates our lives, steadily and exponentially.

By one calculation, the US has around 250,000 factory farms of one kind or another. They have their roots in the 1930s, with the mechanisation of pig slaughterhouses. By the 1950s, chickens were routinely packed into huge sheds, in appalling conditions.

Monopolies, and factory farming in this case, are the result of exploiting life, literally, to death. That is what the industrialization was all about, but since society was — and still is — lauding the new rich, and plunging the masses into a daze of consumption, a majority never saw it coming.

“In the past 20 years, where I am, independent hog farming just silently disappeared as the corporates came in,” says Partridge. “I live on a hilltop. I can see seven farm families, people my kids went to school with. They’re all gone now. My county has 11 small towns, and it’s almost like I could look back in slow motion and just see the businesses change and disappear. We’ve become poorer. Our communities are basically shattered and in more than just an economic way – in a social way too.”

When money drives decisions, families and communities suffer. Monopolies are the embodiment of this bankrupt thinking. In their wake, there can only be devastation. If we do not change the way we regard money and materialism, monopolies will just never go away.

Corporate agriculture evolved to take control of the entire production line from “farm to fork”, from the genetics of breeding to wholesalers in the US or far east. As factory farms spread, their demands dictated the workings of slaughterhouses.

Monetarism controls everything, even death. When we look at our various ongoing ecocides in the world, case proven, the disasters are coming back home to roost and will dictate the way we may die… unless we begin to stand up and fast.

Tim Gibbons of Missouri Rural Crisis Center, a support group for family farmers set up during the 1980s farm crisis, says the cycle of economic shocks has blended with government policies to create a “monopolisation of the livestock industry, where a few multinational corporations control a vast majority of the livestock”.

Business as usual again. Crises are meant for the few at the top to regroup and organize more collusion. And the only way to avoid this is to choose a money-free system, based on contribution and the protection of our host, Earth. Contribution and protection must work in sync.

Gibbons explains: “They are vertically integrated, from animal genetics to grocery store. What they charge isn’t based upon what it costs to produce, and it’s not based on supply and demand, because they know what they need to make a profit. What they have done, through government support and taxpayer support, is to intentionally overproduce so that the price stays low, sometimes below the cost of production. That kicks their competition out of the market. Then they become the only player in town.

Profits do not motivate corporations because that is what government subsidies are meant for, to make up for the loss. Of course their executive management pocket big salaries and bonuses while the corporation itself is flirting with “red ink” . Corporations are the debt black holes of the world. On Wall Street, corporate buybacks are at at all time high, skyrocketing.

“Over time, it has extracted wealth and power from communities. We can see how that has impacted rural main streets. You can see the boarded-up storefronts. You can see the lack of economic opportunity.” Gibbons says that corporations game the system by obtaining low-interest, federally guaranteed loans to build Cafos that then overproduce. But they know the government will buy up the surplus to stabilise prices.

Time to quit fantasizing and realize that this end game is embedded in the concept of competition. Money will never lead to any other outcome.

Much of this is the result of agricultural corporations pouring millions into lobbying state governments. But Gibbons says Washington also bears some responsibility. He accuses President Barack Obama’s administration of failing to deliver on promised reforms that would have benefited smaller farmers. It is this, he says, that damaged Obama’s standing among farmers and drove up their support for Donald Trump.

Sadly many are still caught in the “divide and rule”. And we can hope that those destitued farmers will see the light before the next elections. And will hopefully choose not to vote. No reforms are coming.

In Williams, Schutt says he’s seeing a community of owners becoming workers: “It’s going to be like Russia with serfs. If you want to work on a farm, you’ll have to work for them. We’ll give you a job, but you’re going to be working on our terms. We control everything. Small farms can’t survive.

Life is not for sale and never will be… that’s the only life lesson here. Because there will always be somebody richer controlling those below on the social ladder. Money inherently breeds the inescapble pyramid… so something BIG must be let go.

FULL ARTICLE: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/09/american-food-giants-swallow-the-family-farms-iowa?fbclid=IwAR0yjamo_0IDFJdsBOoak-PnI5ZGMw4BURXiKBgTVRm17c_kUQf9fBmpUZY

THE ESOTERIC TAKE

Indeed based on the Natural Laws , humans should not spill any blood because what we do to animals comes back with a vengeance, the Law of Cause and Effect. Any spilling of blood is ritualistic in essence. Carnism only makes sense when choosing to live like remote tribes whose awareness matches the environment. Tribes, inversely, do not destroy the latter. But today at our (civilized) level of understanding and knowledge, we don’t need to kill animals anymore as we know that plants containing essential amino acids is what we need to especially build muscle mass. The very fact that we damage our environment to satisfy our “meat gluttony” highlights that are at crossroads and must make a choice now….

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