Jun 14, 2016

Election Day: Bernie Sanders, Yes; N.D. Corporate Ag Referendum, No

Election Day and the Parable of Smithfield Foods, [Not good. Irresponsible, and owned by China]

Update: Small farmers and clean water advocates winning North Dakota Corporate Dairy and Swine Farming Referendum three-to-one in early returns as No votes block Big Ag.
Bernie Sanders should stay and fight to Philly and beyond, irrespective of today's D.C. vote.

Two facts:

Hillary Clinton is demonstrating her Queen of Chaos side in the wake of Orlando.

California has some 2,000,000 ballots uncounted after obstructing non-Democratic Party-registering voters, (Op-Ed News) almost as badly as New York did.

North Dakota

North Dakotans should stop corporate agriculture, aka Big Ag, from taking over their state and vote No on the North Dakota Corporate Dairy and Swine Farming Referendum.

A No vote would have national repercussions in killing a Republican-enacted law giving a green light to industrialized agriculture, as corporate industrialized ag has swept the nation, smashing small farmers, massively polluting the country while inflicting cruel, heartless operations against living beings. [Enough to make me consider listening to my Dr. and stop eating too much fry food and steak.]

"While the debate is very much focused on maintaining the character of North Dakota, it also taps into widespread fears about the disappearance of family farms throughout the United States and the spread of big corporations and their farming methods into rural America," reports Julie Bosman, (New York Times).

Results after 9:00 Eastern at North Dakota Secretary of State's Election Results site,  (Senate Bill No. 2351 2015 North Dakota Session Laws, Ch 84)).

See also the Dakota Resource Council, and the North Dakota Farmers Union.

Big Ag is a political monster.

In Wisconsin Big Ag is single-handedly keeping Scott Walker in office, a political reality obscured by the Repulbican dominance of racist, white suburbs ringing Milwaukee.

Wisconsin and North Dakota have plenty of company in the United States, where few realize Big Ag is becoming increasingly owned by China, with the threat of turning large swaths of rural America into foreign-owned colonies.

As noted in these pages, said Gordon Stevenson, Wisconsin DNR runoff management chief (2001-2011):

Consider the Parable of Smithfield Foods. In 1936, a family built a small hog slaughtering and packing plant in Smithfield, Virginia. Their products were very good, the plant grew and town of Smithfield came to be known as the Ham Capital of the World. During the 1980s, the company vertically integrated. In plain English, that means they not only owned the processing facilities, but they figured out that if they controlled the production of hogs as well as processing they could be more profitable. By the end of 1998, Smithfield owned not only multiple packaging plants but 460 large hog farms and had contracts with 2,100 other pork producers 12 states. Smithfield Foods had become the number one pork producer in the United States and was growing internationally. They continued to grow, aggregating the assets of American pork production into larger and fewer blocks. Next time you go shopping, checkout the pork products. You will see labels like Morrell, Farmland, Armour and others. Smithfield owns all of those companies and multiple others. On September 26, 2013, Smithfield Foods and all of its holdings were sold to another company for $7.1 billion. [Bittman, NYT] The name of the company is Shuanghui International Holdings Limited.[Shuanghui changed its name this year to the 'WH Group' (BusinessWeek)]

Yes, a company from the People’s Republic of China now owns 26 percent of all of the assets of the American pork industry. This is the largest single Chinese purchase to date of American assets. China has successfully established an offshore economic colony on American soil. Let’s leave Virginia and Beijing and return to Wisconsin. We have dairy CAFOs in Wisconsin that are in the process of aggregating the assets of Wisconsin’s dairy industry into larger and fewer blocks. Any of those blocks can be bought and sold. I don’t believe I need to spell out why I told you the Parable of Smithfield Foods.
Twenty-six percent and spreading fast.

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