As a proud citizen of DeSoto County and of Mississippi, and a strong supporter of local, independent family farms, I am writing to urge Representative Trent Kelly, Senator Roger Wicker and Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith to cosponsor the Farm System Reform Act (S. 3221/H.R. 6718).
The Farm System Reform Act, a bill introduced by Senator Cory Booker and Representative Ro Khanna, would drastically improve our food system by addressing factory farming, the cause of a variety of ethical, environmental, and public health issues. These Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) keep animals in crowded and confined spaces where they cannot carry out their natural behaviors, subject workers to hazardous working conditions (while COVID-19 exacerbates this problem) and create a negative reputation for all farmers.
In addition, the Farm System Reform Act would phase out CAFOs by 2040, halt the expansion of new large CAFOs, and hold CAFOs accountable for the harm they cause.
The best part? The Packers and Stockyards Act would be strengthened to protect family farmers and ranchers.
If you care about our family owned, independent and local farmers, and the appropriate treatment and welfare of animals, please join me in urging your Representative and our Senators to cosponsor the Farm System Reform Act.
(Editor’s note: Michael Van is a resident of the Walls area of DeSoto County.)