Economy

Farmers Are Getting Screwed Again

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The agriculture and family farm industry have already taken a huge hit from Trump's trade war with the rest of the entire world and they're about to take another.

But this hit isn't going to come from the trade war. This can be attributed directly to good ol' Republican incompetence.

Farmers across the country will be completely unable to sell directly to food stamp recipients at local markets this summer because the equipment they used for it in the past is gone.

Last fall, the U.S. Department of Agriculture canceled its contract with the Farmers Market Coalition, the organization that provides farmers with the hardware and software to accept SNAP payments. Partly as a result, one of the main companies offering this technology, Novo Dia, is canceling its service and going out of business. While this outcome has been clear for months, the USDA’s new contractor has not installed a replacement technology that would allow farmers to keep accepting SNAP payments.

“There is no backup option,” said Ben Feldman, policy director for the Farmers Market Coalition. “July and August are the busiest times of the year. Farmers were promised that they would have functioning equipment and they don’t, and right now there’s no program to help them get it.

You might call this ironic given that Republicans spend so much time and energy lecturing food stamp recipients about their diet choices.

They will literally be unable to use their benefits to buy fruits and vegetables at their local farmer's market.

  • Scopedog
  • Yeah, all those welfare queens trying to eat actual food! I’m not paying taxes so they can “fruits” and “vegetables”! Who do they think they are, the Rockefellers! They can eat, hmm, I’m going to go with drywall, and like it until they get a jerb!

  • muselet

    The Rs hate welfare!—defined as any government money being spent, for any reason, on anyone not making some multiple of a million dollars per year—more than they care about the wellbeing of rural voters.

    The USDA’s cancellation of its contract may well have been intended to cut off access to healthy food for SNAP recipients. That way, the Rs can point to the food choices those people make and zero out nutritional assistance altogether.

    I’m not sure what the farmers will get out of this, apart from buyouts (at pennies on the dollar) by agribusiness corporations, but it will probably be enough to keep them voting R.

    –alopecia

  • Aynwrong

    This question will sound a little crass but, how hard does the screwing have to get before this particular pig squeals?

    I’m guessing it’s a moot point because most Republicans would rather die a thousand deaths before admitting that “the libs were right. AGAIN!”

    • ninjaf

      Not crass at all. Currently, it seems to be a religious-based answer: “We don’t know his plan, but we have to trust that there is a plan and it is all for a good reason.”

      No. No, you don’t. You can verify what they are doing. You can make phone calls. You can do interviews with one of the many news organizations who still seem so enamored of Trump voters and what they really think and tell them you think this is a bunch of BS. You can hold them accountable — you can vote for the other party.