Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska

John Hansen, Nebraska Farmers Union

Bold Nebraska, Nebraska Farmers Union Urge Legislature to
Stand With Family Farmers, Vote NO on Corporate Pig Bill LB 176

Petition signed by more than 1,100 Nebraskans delivered to Senators on Thursday

Lincoln — Today, Bold Nebraska delivered a petition signed by more than 1,100 Nebraskans to the Legislature, calling on Senators to stand with family farmers and vote no on LB 176, the bill that would enable China-owned Smithfield to expand factory hog farming and the water pollution it brings into Nebraska.

“Protecting the family farm is in our DNA as a state,” said Bold Nebraska director Jane Kleeb. “To turn our back on small producers so the Chinese-owned Smithfield can dominate the market, leaving behind polluted air and water, goes against our Nebraskan values. State Senators have an easy choice to protect our water and family farmers. Otherwise, those who vote to advance this corporate pig bill will be the first ones we turn to when our water is contaminated.”

“The people of Nebraska, including the majority of farmers, ranchers, and rural residents have consistently supported family farms over non-family farm corporations, including their 57% affirmative vote for I-300 in 1982,” said Nebraska Farmers Union president John Hansen. “The Legislature should not do the bidding of the pork processors to dismantle the Competitive Livestock Markets Act. They fail to remember that 17 years ago Nebraska was in a major crisis because the pork processors used their economic muscle to collapse the cash market price of hogs forcing over 2,500 hog producers out of business. LB176 is a pork processor bill that gains economic advantage at the expense of pork producers while undermining the remaining beef ban at legal risk.”

Bold Nebraska launched a petition last Tuesday that now includes the signatures of more than 1,100 Nebraskans who call on the Legislature to stand with family farmers and vote no on LB 176.

View the petition online:

Comments from Nebraskans on LB 176 (via the petition):

“As a young farmer myself, I find it frustrating that urban senators have been duped into believing this bill would be good for rural Nebraska. Young farmers don’t need corporate contracts that require them to relinquish ownership in order to get started in farming. The future is local: local food, local economy, and local leaders who are accountable to the people, not to foreign corporate profits.”
—Ben Gotschall, Raymond

“Growing up on a hog farm in Northeast Nebraska makes me value the hard work and dedication of our Nebraska farm families. Please stand with the small family farmers of Nebraska and vote NO on LB 176.”
—Monica Lee-Buss, Central City

“I want to support smaller family farms over corporate operations. The more animals that are concentrated together, the harder life the animals have, the more pollution from the animal waste is concentrated, and consequently, the worse neighbor they are. We also want our farms and lands to be owned and operated by our fellow Nebraskans, not foreign investors whose primary concern is making money efficiently, sometimes at our expense—in terms of animal abuse, polluting our land, water, and air, and driving Nebraskan farmers out of business.”
—Jeanette Loscutoff, Omaha

Earlier this week, Bold also published a report on its website highlighting the threat to our water imposed by factory hog farming:

“Up Shit Creek: What’s at Stake if LB 176 Passes”:

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