Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is taking aim at some of the nation’s largest agribusiness companies, such as Tyson and Bayer-Monsanto, continuing her campaign’s assault on corporate consolidation.
The Democratic presidential candidate’s plan, released exclusively to the Des Moines Register before it was unveiled Wednesday, would address consolidation in the agribusiness industry, “un-rig” the rules she says favor its largest players, and elevate the interests of family farmers…
Austin Frerick, a Democrat who ran for Congress in Iowa’s 3rd District in 2018 primarily on the issue of breaking up agricultural monopolies, said plans like Warren’s have the potential to revitalize rural communities.
“Putting more bargaining power in farmers’ pockets means more money for farmers. It means more money in these communities and small Iowa towns,” he said.
Frerick, a former economist at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, was among the people from whom Warren’s campaign sought input as it drafted the proposal.
“People are so happy in rural Iowa to see a Democrat talking farm and ag policy, who knows what the price per bushel is, who knows their pain,” Frerick said. “Because Democrats just lack a vision for agriculture right now.”
I don’t know if Frerick’s take is accurate, but Warren’s vision of a new approach to agriculture policy is consistent with her strategies for dealing with big businesses in other sectors — using policy to break up concentrated power. I have no idea if it’ll move the needle in Iowa or anywhere else, but Warren isn’t afraid to go bold and, just as importantly, to back up big ideas with policy details. That’s a good thing.