Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy

Squeezing Farmers

The next time you hear Trump, or Sonny Perdue (the multi-millionaire agribusiness tycoon he’s tapped to be his secretary of agriculture) rave about how they will “protect rural farmers and American agriculture,” remember these two stories.

Arkansas farmers Mitchel and Karen Crutchfield were driven into bankruptcy by a multi-national chicken producer. 

West Virginia farmer Eric Hedrick is losing tens of thousands of dollars a month—and faces losing his family’s 400-acre farm—because of a Catch-22 contract he signed with a multi-national chicken producer.

“They will not pay you enough to pay your bills and raise your chickens. The biggest thing that’s let us down is the government.” – Eric Hedrick

In December, the Obama Administration finally passed legislation to protect farmers like the Crutchfields and Hedrick—but it was an uphill battle, thanks to the lobbying efforts of companies like Tyson.

Now, we have “let’s roll back regulations” Sonny Perdue (not related to the founders of Perdue Farms) headed to the USDA. As the former governor of the country’s largest chicken-producing state, it’s a sure bet he’s already set his site on rolling back protections for chicken farmers—so he can protect the record-breaking profits of companies like Tyson.

What can you do? Boycott the chicken producers who are bankrupting the farmers. The top four brands in the U.S. are Tyson, Pilgrim’s, Sanderson and Perdue. You can find the names of other big producers here. Instead, buy your chicken from your local farmers. Or check out more responsibly produced alternatives here

Meanwhile, please listen to the stories of these farmers who explain how their lives and livelihoods are threatened by corporate-controlled government policies.

Watch ‘Under Contract’: The Crutchfields 

Watch ‘Under Contract’: Eric Hedrick 

Learn more 

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