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Is Joe Biden’s plan good for rural America?

Democratic presidential candidate would ‘stand up to China’ but his senate track record says otherwise.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and vice president nominee Kamala Harris have published the Biden plan for rural America, but not agriculture. The plan is composed of two parts. The first discusses how to fundamentally revitalize rural economies and the second deals with partnering with rural communities to help fully access federal resources.

The assumption seems to be that rural communities are not successful in accessing federal dollars and technical assistance.

The Biden plan states “Rural America is home to roughly 20% of Americans, but we are all connected to rural communities in many ways. Rural Americans fuel us and feed us.” The plan does not mention that roughly 2% of the population are farmers and ranchers who feed and clothe 100% of America.

The plan says, “For too many rural Americans, a pathway to the middle class is out of reach if they stay in their rural communities.” The plan goes on to say “...Biden will build a pathway to the middle class for rural Americans, in rural America.” His plan never mentions education as a key to moving into the middle class, but does talk about rural economic development.

Trade policy

The first point of the Biden plan states it will “pursue a trade policy that works for American farmers.” The section goes on to discuss how 20% of all crops grown are exported but never mentions the extremely high tariffs other countries impose on America’s farmers and ranchers. While President Trump is attempting to force down trade barriers, Mr. Biden’s strategy claims “...Trump is pursuing a damaging and erratic trade war without any real strategy, President Biden will stand up to China by working with our allies to negotiate from the strongest possible position.”

But what’s the record say?

For 47 years, U.S. Sen. Biden has not opposed China, as is President Trump presently.

The Biden plan never mentions the damage EPA does to American agriculture but proclaims its support for “beginning farmers.”

The Biden administration “...will expand the Obama-Biden Administration’s micro loan program for new and beginning farmers, doubling the maximum loan amount to $100,000. The Biden plan would foster the development of regional food systems. It comes up with the idea that “This will allow these farmers to negotiate their own prices. And, it will help farmers identify markets for specialty crops and secondary products, like ice cream produced by dairy farmers to bring in additional revenue.”

Net zero greenhouse emissions

The Biden plan with enormous support from Bernie Sanders claims it will “...make American agriculture first in the world to achieve net-zero emissions, giving farmers new sources of income in the process.” To attain this goal of net-zero emissions a new Biden administration “...will dramatically expand and fortify the pioneering Conservation Stewardship Program, created by former Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Tom Hardin, to support farm income through payments based on farmers’ practices to protect the environment, including carbon sequestration.”

Mr. Biden believes his program for sequestering carbon for cover crops will combat climate change, and by planting the cover crops this will be a new revenue source for farmers. Mr. Biden believes our soil is the newest frontier for storing carbon.

As in the platform for the Democrat Party, Mr. Biden believes that American farmers and ranchers are being harmed significantly by increasing market concentration. The administration will protect small and medium size farmers and producers “...by strengthening enforcement of the Sherman and Clayton Antitrust Acts and the Packers and Stockyards Act.”

The Biden administration, according to the plan, will expand bio-based manufacturing and bring new manufacturing back to rural America. The federal government, he claims, will provide significant funding for this plan to help the states and regions to build a low-carbon future.

Clean energy future?

Under a President Biden he claims that he and President Obama put more than $90 billion in to clean energy technology. We all remember how successful that was for companies such as Solyndra! A new President Biden will build on this billion dollar program “...by setting an ambitious but essential goal for America to achieve a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050.”

His plan also claims it will “...accelerate the already dramatic growth of solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources.” We see how well this plan is working in California with its rolling blackouts.

As if we do not have roads to towns, Mr. Biden’s green infrastructure programs will “...build the roads to give farms and small town businesses access to markets...” Apparently Mr. Biden and his team believe we do not have roads in rural America.

The second section of the Biden plan is about bringing Obamacare and affordable care to rural America. Basically this section is about helping rural communities to fully access federal resources.

The proposed Biden administration “...wants to fundamentally change how the federal government interacts with rural communities...” You need to read all this (here).

Note: Gary Baise organized President Trump’s agricultural team of advisers.
The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 
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