AL.COM | Op Ed: EATS Act a hidden menace to Alabama farmers

Reposted from:

March 3, 2024

Alabama Contract Poultry Growers Association, I stand on the frontlines – battling for our farmers. Today, I am here to raise the alarm about a perilous piece of legislation threatening our farms, our livelihoods and our sovereignty.

The so-called Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act, led by Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA) and Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) claims to ease farmers’ burdens by eradicating numerous state agricultural laws. But don’t let this fool you. Behind its veneer, the EATS Act actually paves the way for foreign corporations, including Smithfield, to swoop in and seize our valuable land and businesses.

Having experienced the dwindling of my own operation for speaking out against corporations and advocating for Alabama’s farmers, I know that family farmers are up against lawmakers influenced by mighty global corporations. This isn’t a hypothetical threat – it’s an impending storm that could shatter our way of life. The EATS Act would abolish state laws that prioritize family farms, safeguard our children’s food and manage the spread of invasive pests.

We find ourselves in the bullseye of an onslaught against state agriculture laws, an offensive steered by those favoring corporate interests over local farmers. Our Alabama senators and Representative Aderholt are well aware of the stakes, and I implore you to join our cause as we fortify our defenses against this looming danger.

The EATS Act is deceptive legislation that could pass the control of American livestock production to foreign entities. It’s a deliberate attempt to snatch power from our state and local agriculture committees, effectively muting the voices of those who understand our states best and advocate for our local producers.

Make no mistake, the EATS Act isn’t just a reinvented King Amendment; it’s one of the gravest threats rural communities and independent states have ever confronted. We must prevent this language from infiltrating the forthcoming Farm Bill. That goes for a stripped-down version of the bill known as the Protecting Interstate Commerce for Livestock Producers Act, too.

I urge you to rally behind our cause, reach out to our United States senators and House delegation and convey that we won’t sit idle while our rights are trampled upon and our farmland is practically gifted to China.

The Alabama poultry industry has a $15 billion annual economic impact, accounting for one-eighth of our state economy. As such, our mission is clear. Let’s safeguard our legacy, our sovereignty and the future of farming in our Yellowhammer state. We hold the power to repel this Trojan Horse at our gates. Stand with us, and let’s preserve our farms, our heritage and our state from the perils of the EATS Act.

U.S. Sens. Tommy Tuberville and Katie Britt, as well as Reps. Barry Moore, Dale Strong, Terri Sewell, Robert Aderholt, Jerry Carl, Mike Rogers and Gary Palmer should all stand strong and vocally oppose the inclusion of the EATS Act and other measures like it from being included in the upcoming Farm Bill.