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ACTION: Family Farm Lobby Day on Jan. 19 to Oppose LB 176

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A factory hog farm (Photo: Mary Anne Andrei)

Family Farm Lobby Day:
Tuesday, Jan. 19 

Take Action:

LB 176, a Big Ag-friendly bill, is currently under consideration before the Nebraska legislature.  Your action is needed now to help prevent this bills from becoming law, which would have devastating consequences for our state’s family farmers and for anyone who cares about  keeping a viable family-farm agriculture system in place in Nebraska.

Your state senators need to hear from you NOW.

Join coalition partner Nebraska Farmers Union for a Family Farm Lobby Day on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

  • Arrive to the State Capitol at 9:00 a.m. (or whenever you’re able to make it!)
  • When you get to the Capitol, stop by Room 1126.
  • We will have background materials for you, and contact information for the State Senators.
  • You may visit Senators’ offices before the start of the session at 10:00 a.m., or over the noon hour.
  • You can also send in a note to them from the Red Coats desk outside the double doors in the Rotunda asking them to stop outside and visit with you. They may or may not do so.

If you have questions, please contact Nebraska Farmers Union: 402-476-8815

If you cannot join us for Family Farm Lobby Day, contact these key Senators whose votes we need to defeat LB 176:

  • Sen. Roy Baker: Phone: (402) 471-2620 Email: rbaker@leg.ne.gov
  • Sen. Kate Bolz:  Phone: (402) 471-2734 Email: kbolz@leg.ne.gov
  • Sen. Laura Ebke:  Phone: (402) 471-2711 Email: lebke@leg.ne.gov
  • Sen. Curt Friesen:  Phone: (402) 471-2630 Email: cfriesen@leg.ne.gov
  • Sen. Burke Harr: Phone: (402) 471-2722 Email: bharr@leg.ne.gov
  • Sen. Sara Howard: Phone: (402) 471-2723 Email: showard@leg.ne.gov
  • Sen. Bob Krist: Phone: (402) 471-2718 Email: bkrist@leg.ne.gov
  • Sen. Brett Lindstrom: Phone: (402) 471-2618 Email: blindstrom@leg.ne.gov
  • Sen. John McCollister: Phone: (402) 471-2622 Email: jmccollister@leg.ne.gov
  • Sen. Adan Morfeld: Phone: (402) 471-2720 Email: amorfeld@leg.ne.gov
  • Sen. Nicole Fox: Phone: (402) 471-2721 Email: nfox@leg.ne.gov
  • Sen. Jim Scheer: Phone: (402) 471-2929 Email: jscheer@leg.ne.gov

It is important that you contact your representative as well as these others in order to let the unicameral know that citizens do not support a government-facilitated corporate takeover of Nebraska agriculture.

For a directory of the state senators, click this link: http://nebraskalegislature.gov/pdf/senators/roster.pdf

To find your state senator, go to this link: http://nebraskalegislature.gov/senators/senator_find.php

Defeat Packer Ownership —
Oppose LB176

LB 176, which would allow pork processors to own pigs in Nebraska, was defeated last year but has been reintroduced again this year by Sen. Ken Schilz.

This bill would hand over all market control to the meatpackers and reduce farmers to little more than contract growers for the corporations.  The bill would allow pork meatpackers to own hogs as long as they had production contracts with hog producers.

This would have the same effect as a repeal of the ban on packer ownership because meat processors are no longer building and operating hog CAFO’s. They now use contract production to achieve the same two benefits that ownership provides:  control, and primary economic benefits, while passing the risks and responsibilities associated with production along to the producer.

LB176 would in effect make the hog industry in Nebraska like the chicken industry, and would open the door to allowing meatpackers to own cattle, which would be disastrous for Nebraska’s independent family cattle ranchers.  

What is further troubling about this is the fact that Smithfield, the largest pork packer in the world, is now owned by the Chinese company Shanghui International.  There is a constitutional ban on the foreign corporate ownership of farmland.  

Why would we allow foreign corporations to own livestock?  This failed system has transformed the chicken industry into a captive supply for poultry packers and driven many producers into debt and bankruptcy.

Watch this movie about one farmer’s attempts to expose the poultry industry’s abuse of animals and farmers:

Unchecked growth of corporate-owned pork has allowed rapid expansion of confined animal feeding operations in states like Iowa, where such expansion has threatened drinking water supplies and has virtually eliminated the open market system of price discovery and competition among packers for market share. The United States has lost 91% of its hog producers since 1980.

Do we really need to continue down this path of allowing meatpacking corporations to prey on family farmers by locking them into a treadmill system of debt?

Support Organizations Fighting for Family Farmers:

Much of the groundwork on these issues has been done by the Nebraska Farmers Union.  Since 1913, NeFU has been fighting for Nebraska’s Family Farmers and Ranchers.  You can learn more about the Nebraska Farmers Union at their websitehttp://www.nebraskafarmersunion.org  You can also donate or become a member.  Your support is needed to keep organizations like this working strong into the future.  Without them, family farmers lose their collective voice.

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