Goal: Bold’s goal is to hold Corporate Ag responsible and accountable for protecting our land and water, and require them to complete third-party environmental studies on projects that will impact local communities. We want to stop “vertical integration” in agriculture so that family farmers and ranchers have the opportunity to access multiple marketplaces on a level playing field.
Background: Corporate Ag is trying to buy its way through the heartland and is threatening our way of life, our water, and land. This type of agriculture production offers no benefits to the family farmers and ranchers; they are at the mercy of big business with no alternative market outlets. The Corporate Ag model controls all of the profitable sectors of the food production system, with the risks being passed to the farmer/producer. This is vertical integration — and it not the type of irresponsible agriculture that we want in our state polluting our land and water while negatively impacting the health of our citizens.
A report by Environment America titled “Wasting our Waterways” found that Nebraska ranked fifth in the nation for the total amount of toxic discharges. The report estimates that slaughterhouses and poultry plants are responsible for about one third of all direct discharges.
The report argues that to restore our rivers, lakes and streams, industry must shift away from industrial-scale livestock facilities and overproduction of commodity crops, which depend on heavy doses of fertilizers and pesticides. This report also provides concrete steps that can be taken to curb the pollution of our waterways and transition to more sustainable production.
While it is important to weigh the environmental impact, considerations should also be given to economic impacts. This includes employee turnover rates and anticipated wages, as well impacts to property values. Counties should also consider the needs for additional infrastructure and how the costs of these structures will be apportioned.
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