What do each of the 2008 presidential candidates have to say about food, agriculture, organics, sustainable farming and other key issues in today's food economy? We can hardly give an in-depth analysis of each candidate's position here, but we're sketching out a broad look at each candidate today in honor of Presidents' Day.
Where does Hillary Clinton stand on food, eating, and the family farm? We're curious to see what kind of decisions she would make on some of the big health issues facing Americans due to our diet and fast-food-now culture. For more on her stated positions, read on...
Clinton's primary statements and policies on food are found in her Creating Opportunity in Rural America write-ups. Some of the key issues here include:
• Strong support for family farms. Hillary understands that vertical integration is affecting every aspect of our food and fuel production. She knows that we can preserve family farms by offering greater opportunities for farmers to sell their produce. From renewable energy to building more direct-to-consumer markets, to investing in conservation efforts, Hillary will build more avenues for our farmers and ranchers to stay in business and pass along their operations to the next generation.
• Target our commodity payment programs so that family farms -- not corporate farms -- are the key beneficiaries. Hillary favors closing loopholes that disproportionately benefit wealthy corporate farmers and those who do not directly take part in the operations or management of their farms. Hillary also supports establishing a permanent disaster program to assure producers aid will be there when they need it most.
• Work to expand market opportunities for farmers through innovative, direct-to-consumer marketing and niche markets to provide U.S. farmers with more options for selling their products. Hillary will work to expand farmers' markets, provide value-added marketing grants, and create food distribution opportunities for farmers from across the country to earn more for their hard labor.
• Expand and enhance conservation programs in the Farm Bill and support carbon credit trading for producers who incorporate environmentally friendly farming practices.
The interesting part, though? The 2007 Farm Bill, which supposedly increased those subsidies to corporate farms and was labeled bad news for small farms - Clinton did not cast a vote on it either way. Neither did fellow Democrat candidate Barack Obama. Did they just not want to alienate the big agribusiness key constituencies in Iowa?
Hmm - we write about food, not politics, so no more comments from us. What do you think?