“What’s exciting from our perspective is that some of these ideas are catching hold,” said a sustainable farming advocate.
Five Democratic presidential candidates ― former Housing Secretary Julián Castro, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and author Marianne Williamson ― are backing a ban on the creation of new “factory farms” and the expansion of existing ones as part of their efforts to court rural voters frustrated by the effects of industrial-scale livestock operations on their water supply and economy.
Warren, Sanders, Gabbard, Williamson and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) are also calling for a return to New Deal-style farm regulations, in which the federal government helped farmers manage fluctuations in supply ― and the accompanying price shocks ― by, among other things, buying excess grain and paying farmers to leave fields fallow in fat years.