Bernie Sanders' latest campaign plank is a suite of agricultural reforms similar to the ones proposed by Elizabeth Warren in March, including a national right-to-repair law for agricultural equipment, antitrust breakups of agribusiness seed, meatpacking and fertilizer monopolies, patent law reform to curb abuses of seed patents, reform of US trade agreements to support "domestic food security", rationalized supply management and a grain and feed reserve, national disaster coverage, relief for family farm bankruptcies, pro-diversity policies for 4H and other agricultural pipelines, incentives for regional co-ops, and a suite of climate change remediation measures.
While Sanders' policy is similar to Warren's, it's even more detailed and more comprehensive. I am loving the idea of the two most progressive candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination locked in a race to the top to produce the most detailed, bold policy proposals. This is a race that everybody wins.
Sanders has some catching up to do: Warren has unleashed a flood of amazing policy proposals, each better than the last.
(I am a donor to both Sanders' and Warren's campaigns)
Our mid-size and small towns have been decimated. Local businesses were replaced with national chains, many schools and hospitals shut down and good jobs left at an alarming rate. The next generation of rural Americans is finding better opportunities outside of the small towns where they grew up in.
Fundamental change in America's agricultural and rural policies is no longer just an option; it's an absolute necessity. Farmers, foresters, and ranchers steward rural landscapes, which benefit all Americans. They provide us with essential resources such as food, fiber, building materials, renewable energy, clean water and habitat for biodiversity. They also have an enormous potential to address climate change. With the right support and policies, we can have rural communities that are thriving economically and ecologically. The following policies will drive a transition in our agricultural system away from a consolidated, profit-driven industrial model to one that rebuilds and restores rural communities.
Revitalizing Rural America [Bernie Sanders]
Bernie Sanders Calls for a National Right-to-Repair Law for Farmers [Matthew Gault/Motherboard]