by Tom Philpott, Grist
Food and agriculture policy has been at best a fringe issue during the last few Democratic presidential primaries. Candidates tend to limit their agricultural appeals to “broad value statements” rather than dive into the policy specifics “that would indicate they’ve given these issues the attention they deserve,” says Sarah Hackney, coalition director for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.
This cycle is different. Corn and soybean farmers are locked in a multi-year slump, made worse by President Donald Trump’s trade wars. Dairy farms in Wisconsin are failing at the rate of two per day. And climate chaos has pounded farm country in recent years, from California’s vicious mid-decade drought to the soil-destroying bomb-cyclone storms that slammed the corn belt this spring. As talk of global warming permeates the debate, so does acknowledgement that agriculture contributes at least 10 percent of the world’s greenhouse emissions.
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