Over two-hundred people gathered on the steps of the Iowa Statehouse Sundayafternoon to voice their opposition to forces which put farmers on thefinancial brink. Most of the speakers criticized the free market “Freedom to Farm” Law,saying it was time to re-establish federal rules which manage cropproduction. Others blamed large corporate interests for the current farmcrisis. Jim Braun is a third generation livestock farmer from Lattimer.He says big meatpackers have increased their profits while paying less thanwhat was paid during the great depression.Iowa Farmers Union president John Whitacker said if family farmers aredriven to bankruptcy, the foundation upon which the country is built willcrumble.Gene Paul, the president of the National Farmers Organization, urged farmersto unionize and collectively bargain for the prices of crops and livestock.Iowa Ag Secretary Patty Judge said it’s time to re-write federal farmpolicy, or family farmers will be sacrified.
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