News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Guest Opinion: Traditional ag threatened – Examine industrial-level ag ownership

Cancer is insidious, parasitic, evasive, and destroys the very cell it was born from. It robs healthy cells of their nutrients, allows waste products to build up until it literally kills its host.

Our national and food security depend on recognizing and treating the cancer that is foreign- owned, industrial level, vertically integrated processor controlled ag.

Like cancer, our once healthy agricultural system is failing to recognize the enemy within. Global corporations own and control enough of our food system to bring us to our knees. 

Worse, we fund these foreign entities through grants, subsidies and public backed loans enabling them to hire more lobbyists and purchase more farms and processing facilities.

Smithfield, owned by China, is the largest pork producer. Two of the four beef packers controlling more than 80 percent of beef are foreign owned. 

Nearly all chicken is grown under the vertical system where the “farmer” doesn’t own the animal but does own the facility, the waste, and much of the risk and liability. 

Historically environmental carnage and public health problems are well documented in their wake with consequences falling to citizens. Industrial ag utilizies millions of gallons of water, creates millions of pounds of waste, and benefits from loopholes and exemptions meant to protect traditional ag while simultaneously destroying it.

The Ag community fiercely defends industrial ag while not understanding size isn’t at issue – ownership and control is. A monopoly destroys free market and competition leaving us depleted economically as we enrich other nations and not our own. “Cheap” and plentiful is temporary until the “traditional” system is dead. Consolidation from many traditional farmers to incredibly few industrial ones leaves us vulnerable.

Private Equity firms can hide true ownership. Foster Farms appears to be foreign owned. Their Kelso plant, which processes the birds, contracts to export to China and other countries. The USDA and industry boasts of “family farms” misleading politicians and the public. SAM opens the door to foreign federal subsidies. 

The SBA reports in detail why contractors aren’t eligible as an “employee” yet banks are still funding these loans that often benefit foreign corporations and give eligibility for more subsidies.

Like cancer, they are here to take valuable resources while leaving us the waste. Powerful lobbyists and political donations have insured an easy path to utilizing exemptions in the law that apply to traditional farmers further crushing them under their boot.

We must restore traditional domestic ag, end all public monies to private equity firms and foreign corporations, limit foreign ownership of farm land and food processing facilities. Break up the monopolies and level the playing field, end the loopholes. Classify and regulate Industrial level CAFOs to ensure public health and safety, require bonds to ensure damages don’t fall to taxpayers. Use public funds to rebuild our nation, not enable foreign corporations to use our money at our peril. He who controls the food controls the people and we no longer do. 

My opinion, I beg you to do your own research.

– Linda Minten
Minten Farms, Scio

Previous Article

Prepare for winter temperatures now

Next Article

Guest Opinion: LCSO will not enforce magazine capacity limits

You might be interested in …

CAFO group suggests tighter regulations for chicken ranches

A legislative workgroup studying industrial-scale poultry farms has concluded such operations may require additional regulations accounting for local impact and cumulative effects, similar to the cannabis industry. The Large Poultry CAFO Workgroup held its final […]

Guest Opinion: Ballot Measure 114 brings uncertainty

With the passage of Ballot Measure 114 we know our community members have quite a few questions concerning new requirements under the measure. We’re actively working with the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association and Marion County […]