US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack missed the mark as chief of domestic agriculture on Thursday by defending the disastrous impacts of large-scale industrial agriculture, which pushes the true costs of cheap food production onto farmers, workers, and the environment (Politico Pro: "Vilsack Takes on Anti-Industrial Ag-ers").
The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) is now declaring a state of emergency.
"In an affront to logic and to any clear thinking by family farmers and consumers, Vilsack continues to push a model of highly concentrated industrial agriculture that has failed. One only needs to look at our home state of Iowa to see the resulting loss of family farms and environmental destruction," according to Iowa farmer and OCM board member Chris Petersen.
Even as consumers here pay historically high prices for food, the last of the nation's family-run farms and ranches are going broke. Calves are bringing half what they brought just a year ago, dairy farmers are on the ropes due to low milk prices, and grain farmers are losing well over $100 per acre, while prices at the grocery store remain virtually unchanged.