MORGAN, Minn. – Today [August 2, 2022] at Farmfest, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Rob Larew joined Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) President Gary Wertish to unveil The Trustbuster and give an update on the Fairness for Farmers campaign.
“Family farmers work hard to support their families and Minnesota Farmers Union is working hard to be sure they are fairly compensated for the products they bring to market,” Wertish said. “The Trustbuster project and Fairness for Farmers campaign are about raising awareness for the need for a competitive marketplace. Both farmers and consumers lose when a marketplace is consolidated.”
The Trustbuster is a Polaris Ranger 1000 wrapped in Fairness for Farmers graphics. It is being raffled to both raise awareness of the devastating impact corporate consolidation has had on family farm agriculture and to raise money for the Minnesota Farmers Union Foundation.
The term Trustbuster is a throwback to the 1880s when activists began demanding states pass antitrust laws to make monopolistic practices illegal. In 1890, Congress passed the first national antitrust law, the Sherman Act. The Clayton Act, passed in 1914, more clearly defined anti-competitive business practices. The Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 is designed to protect poultry, hog and beef farmers from unfair, deceptive and anti-competitive practices in the meat markets.
Farmers Union believes now is the time to reinvigorate those laws and launched the Fairness for Farmers campaign in fall 2021 to gather stories and push for legislative changes.
“For far too long, consolidation and corporate monopolies have been allowed to flourish in the agriculture industry and have evaded proper oversight,” Larew said. “I’m proud to stand with Minnesota Farmers Union and their members to highlight the devastating impact this is having on farmers, ranchers and rural communities. I urge state and federal authorities to enforce the laws on the books and work with us to implement stronger antitrust protections and more fairness for farmers.”
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who has been a vocal supporter of antitrust legislation, said the nation needs competition to help people afford their lives.
“Corporate CEOs are bragging about raking in record profits while Minnesota family farmers are being squeezed and consumers are being price-gouged,” Ellison said. “I’m protecting Minnesota family farmers by fighting corporate greed so they get a fair shake, and their families and communities can thrive.”
Learn more about the Fairness for Farmers campaign at https://nfu.org/fairness-for-farmers/.