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The Attack on Farmers and Ranchers that No One is Talking About

by | Jan 18, 2024 | 30x30, Farmers and Ranchers

Jim Mundorf | December 17, 2023

In September of 2022 the United States Department of Agriculture, without congressional approval or oversight, announced they were spending $3.1 Billion dollars to implement Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities Projects.

This money has since been handed over to some the country’s largest agriculture corporations, associations, and universities. Some of the notable payments are: $90 million to ADM, $95 million to Iowa Soybean Association, $60 million to the Nature Conservancy, 27 different universities with payments ranging from $4 million to $80 million.

These are 123 total listed as, “lead partners” but if you read the description of the programs you will find, “other major partners” which include every major company in the food business, from Cargill to Costco.

The most disgusting payment of all was $40 million dollars to the largest ag media corporation Farm Journal. Why would the government pay a media company $40 million to implement an environmental program? Control the messenger, control the message, aka state run media.

The message that the USDA does not want told is that the intended goal for the Climate Smart Project is to manipulate farmers and ranchers into calculating their greenhouse gas emissions, or what they call, “implementation and monitoring of climate smart practices” so that those emissions can then be regulated.

How We Got Here

In March of 2022 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced plans to force all publicly traded companies to submit an ESG report. ESG stands for Environmental, Social, Governance. It is a program designed by the United Nations and implemented by the worlds largest investment firms. It is a program designed to create a partnership between the government and corporations to control the lives of citizens, through the guise of environmentalism, and equality.

The SECs proposed ESG reports would consist of three scopes. Scope 1, is reporting the greenhouse gases the company emits. Scope 2, is reporting the greenhouse gases that come from the energy the company uses. Scope 3, is reporting the greenhouse gases of your suppliers and your customers. Oddly enough the pushback did not come from the fact that this is complete and total overreach of the SECs power. The pushback came from the fact that scope 3 would force small farmers who supply publicly traded companies, to calculate their greenhouse gases and submit their own report. Something they were unprepared to do.

5 months later in September of 2022 the USDA announced their Partnership for Climate Smart Commodities Projects. These “projects” center around the, “implementation and monitoring” of what they call “climate smart practices” like planting cover crops or rotational grazing. The projects all have technology partners that have apps that focus on storing and sharing data. Conveniently each of these projects focuses heavily on “monitoring.” For example the Farm Journal project’s “monitoring highlights” are very similar to all the others, and they read, “The project plans to have Conservation Agronomists verify GHG outcomes…” It goes on saying, “Project Partner Trimble will be responsible for using the COMET- Planner tool to quantify, monitor, report, and verify greenhouse gas benefits.” Trimble is a technology company that specializes in collecting and sharing data. The COMET-Planner tool was developed by the USDA and Colorado State University to, “provide estimates of carbon sequestration for common conservation agriculture practices.” So if you were a government official who wanted to track farms and ranches greenhouse gases and then force them to adopt certain conservation practices, whether they could afford those practices or not, then these projects would be exactly what you would need to get the ball rolling.

So here we are, the Biden administration has directly said, “We have to reduce emissions from the food system.” The SEC proposed a rule that would force farmers and ranchers to report their greenhouse gas emissions. Then the USDA just so happened to spend $3 billion to get corporations and ag associations to convince farmers and ranchers to help them develop the technology that would make it convenient and easy to report greenhouse gas emissions and measure the greenhouse gas reductions of some practices.

This is not about climate. This is about freedom. Once emissions are convenient and easy to report they will be convenient and easy to regulate.

What’s the Harm?

The corporations that received the tens of millions are currently handing out a few crumbs to farmers and ranchers and enrolling them in these programs. The kool-aid drinkers that go along with these programs will say, “what’s the harm?” If you’re a rancher what’s the harm in signing up for Farm Journal’s Trust in Beef program, where they will probably show you how to use an app where you input your data like cattle rotations and feed, (agriwebb.) When you sign up I’m sure you will probably be handed a check, and told about the wonderful service you are doing for your industry, your farm or ranch, and your planet. They will tell you that you will show the world that agriculture can be part of the solution. So what’s the harm?

The harm comes from giving an administration that is continually blaming agriculture for destroying the planet, the tools to regulate you out of business. The harm comes from when they tell you that what you’re doing is not enough. The harm comes from when you get told you need to reduce your herd by 25% in order to do business, get a loan, or sell your cattle. The harm comes when you realize the system that you helped create and put in place is the same system that is driving you out of business.

Where We’re Headed

To clearly see what, “reducing emissions from the food system” looks like just look to Europe. In The Netherlands, where farmers initially complied with the climate regulations up until they couldn’t, then they were told to sell their farms to the government. Look at France, where last week farmers were spraying manure on Government buildings to protest the plan to reduce the countries cattle herd by 2 million head. Look at Ireland where their Department of Ag has proposed killing 200,000 cattle. All of this to meet climate goals.

Unfortunately this plan has been at work for well over a year now. This summer the USDA dropped another $300 million to, “improve measurement, monitoring, reporting and verification of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration.” There has been almost no pushback against this. Partly because the end goal has been hidden, but mainly because the massive amount of money pushing it makes people blind to what the end goal is. The money involved is not just the billions from the USDA, but the billions coming from the investment firms that are pushing ESG. These firms are large shareholders that control every major corporation in agriculture, from John Deere to Tyson Foods, they are all in on it, and they are all pushing for it. This means that they control all of ag media and most ag associations. American Farm Bureau is promoting this program, which means all their state affiliates will be pushing it too. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, is of course a partner on Farm Journals $40 million dollar deal. Both associations have state affiliates that have pushed the programs down to the counties and already there are many farmers and ranchers who are onboard and signed up to participate.

If there is to be any pushback at all it will have to come from those who make up the backbone of the agriculture industry. The small farmers and ranchers, whose livelihoods are truly at stake. Stopping this plan will be incredibly hard… next to impossible. I am now writing this with the hope that America’s farmers and ranchers will not only stand up to the government, but also to the largest ag corporations, associations, universities, and media. Odds are not in my favor, but I have always believed that the most powerful word in any language is, freedom. And no one loves freedom more than Americas farmers and ranchers. If they can come to see this movement for what it truly is, having nothing to do with the climate and everything to do with taking away their freedoms, then I think we might have a chance….but we are going to need some help.

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