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December 21, 2017

The USDA rolled back protections for small farmers. Now they’re suing

An organization representing the interests of small farmers across rural America fired a legal salvo Thursday aimed at a Trump administration they feel has let them down.  The lawsuit, filed by the Organization for Competitive Markets, a small farmers’ think tank based in Lincoln, Neb., and three farmer plaintiffs, did not shake the halls of Congress. Nor will it go viral on social media. But to the 40,000 contract poultry farmers, 900,000 cattle ranchers, and 70,000 hog farmers in America’s heartland whose interests it seeks to represent, the lawsuit represents the tip of an iceberg of financial and emotional despair.

At issue is the Trump administration’s withdrawal of two Obama-era rules designed to protect small farmers who say they are being exploited by the meatpacking companies they supply. Read more

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