[The July 22 Xpress] article “Wide Open Spaces: Farms Innovate Fresh Models for COVID-19 Agritourism,” made me proud to be part of WNC’s farm economy. It’s a pleasure to support local farms at tailgate markets and as they pivot their business models.
There’s another big way that we can support agriculture. We can call or write Sen. Thom Tillis and Sen. Richard Burr and ask them to co-sponsor the Farm System Reform Act (S-3221/H.R. 6718).
The Farm System Reform Act would phase out factory farms, or “concentrated animal feeding operations,” by 2040. And it would help farmers transition to more sustainable forms of agriculture.
Concentrated animal feeding operations treat workers and animals poorly. Their workers face hazardous conditions, especially during COVID-19. Animals are kept in crowded spaces. They cannot carry out natural behaviors or move freely — a far stretch from the “happy cows and chickens” that call humane WNC farms their homes!
I’m able to purchase dairy, eggs and meat from farms with sustainable and ethical practices. But not all of our neighbors have that access. It’s going to take something bigger than purchasing power to address all the problems that factory farms cause.
Please consider asking Sen. Thom Tillis (919-856-4630) and Sen. Richard Burr (336-631-5125) to co-sponsor the Farm System Reform Act. Let’s make it easier for people all over the country to access food from sources that treat their workers, consumers and animals with dignity.
— Renee Dunaway