Agriculture and Food

  • Industrial farming

    • Industrial farming is a means for corporate farming companies to maximize profits on crops. Industrial farmers plant the same crops every year. This process, called mono-cropping, reduces biodiversity, increases crop diseases, depletes nutrients from the soil, and increases the need for harmful chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. These pesticides and synthetic fertilizers have produced the need to genetically alter crops like corn and soy to make them herbicide resistant. Only three companies have power over the chemical agriculture industry--DowDuPont, ChemChina and Syngenta, and Bayer/Monsanto. Fewer companies in the industry means increased corporate control over government policy, the potential for illegal and unfair collaboration, and extremely high prices.

    • Done Waiting supports the promotion of sustainable farming practices. Crops should be rotated every year to preserve nutrients in the soil and to increase biodiversity. The feces of free-roaming farm animals can replenish the nutrients in the soil. Done Waiting believes in heavily regulating the chemical agriculture industry. Done Waiting argues for the phasing out of synthetic fertilizers, chemical pesticides, and genetically altered crops. 

    • Done Waiting believes that industrial farming should eventually transition to sustainable crop farming. 

    • Done Waiting strictly opposes the corporate control of agriculture in the United States. Because companies like DowDuPont, ChemChina and Syngenta, and Bayer/Monsanto design products to ruin the quality of the original soil over a short period of time, industrial farmers must increasingly rely on these products in order to produce crops at the same rate.

    • Done Waiting wants to prohibit the selling of products that are meant to increase profits for a company by forcing customers to rely on the products to maintain the same output. 

    • Done Waiting also wants to prohibit the collaboration of large corporations that dominate the agricultural industries, because this creates monopolies and hurts small farmers. 

    • Done Waiting will work to implement a price ceiling on all chemical agriculture products. Additionally Done Waiting will include a tax and eventually ban the production of any product that poses a risk to the environment. Subsidies will be provided to consumers and companies that are willing to participate in the transition away from the use of chemical agricultural products. 

    • Done Waiting advocates for rotation farming, which prevents soil depletion and erosion on farmlands. Done Waiting favors conservation tillage practices because regular tilling increases soil erosion.  

    • GMOs

      • Genetic engineering is the act of modifying the genes of seeds and animals in a controlled environment in order to support the dominance of a certain characteristic that will increase its productivity and reduce cost of growth. GMO use in plants and animals have increased as a result of a narrative created by agro-chemical companies claiming that GMOs increase food supply, reduce the cost of food production, and reduce overall pollution emissions in the agriculture industry. However, one ninth of the world population still suffer from malnutrition. Additionally, it is recommended by several international coalitions that organic and natural farming is the best method to reduce world hunger. Done Waiting agrees with the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge and the Science and Technology for Development report from the United Nations that organic farming is the most sustainable and clean form of farming. 

      • GMOs in crops have not reduced pesticide use on farms. Additionally, there is little evidence that GMOs increase output of crops on farms. GMOs (and herbicides) are expensive for farmers. No corporation should be allowed to profit off of the backs of farmers who live paycheck-to-paycheck.

      • Herbicides increase weed resistance to pesticides, which can lead to increased use of weed killers. This also leads to increased use of GMOs that protect crops from pesticides.

      • Done Waiting supports repealing the Plant Patenting Act and other patent supporting legislation related to GMOs. These patents give  corporations too much power over the future of the food supply and the agricultural industry. Patents prevent corporations from stealing ideas and profits from original inventors. However, these patents incentivize innovation of genetically engineered crops and animals that are harmful to the environment. This form of innovation needs to be disincentivized. 

      • GMOs should be clearly labeled on all food products. Current law, which allows companies to hide GMO information, needs to be amended.

      • Done Waiting will not compromise on his efforts to pass new legislation that will force all companies to clearly state the GMOs used in the production of the product on the front of the box. Done Waiting will not take any money from biotechnology and agriculture corporations that are threatened by this legislation. 

    • Pesticides

      • 90% of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and herbicides are used for industrial farming. Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides from industrial farming can severely damage entire ecosystems. Chemicals from pesticides seep into groundwater or flow into rivers and streams via runoff, killing waterlife and poisoning the human water supply. They can harm pollinators, which are essential to promoting the growth and reproduction of plant life. Without pollinators, crops cannot be planted naturally. 

      • In 2014, a study found that glyphosate, a chemical found in herbicides that causes widespread deformities in crops and plants and significant health issues in humans and animals, was in 70% of all water samples (rain, sewage, lakes, rivers, ETC.) across 38 states. This level of glyphosate at all levels of the Earth’s water cycle demonstrates that even modern day quantities of agricultural chemical use still significantly impacts the planet. 

        • Done Waiting advocates for pesticide alternatives, such as manual or automated weeding, mulching, or crop rotation in order to reduce environmental harm from farming. Done Waiting encourages technological innovation in the farm industry in order to maintain efficiency and keep up with demand from consumers.

      • Synthetic fertilizers are made using fossil fuels. Runoff can cause invasive algal blooms that can destroy entire water ecosystems because they deplete the oxygen in the water. Done Waiting supports laws that require farmers to use livestock manure to fertilize crops. 

      • Done Waiting also believes that taxes on agriculture chemicals should be used to pay for their removal from bodies of water and their conversion into biofuels for local economies. In this way, communities will be able to lower costs of energy by becoming temporarily energy independent. The money they save will allow them to pay for a transition to more sustainable forms of farming. 

    • Supporting Family-Owned Farms

      • Rural communities suffer while agribusiness corporations have the power of hundreds of millions of dollars in Congressional lobbying. 

      • Essentially, Done Waiting believes agribusiness corporations have had an unfair advantage for too long. 

      • Family owned-farms are on the decline. Farmer income is now beneath that of the average American household. 

      • We must support family-owned farms through incentivizing and subsidization.

    • Rights of Farmers

      • Intellectual property “trade secrets” 

        • In America today we use Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) that are created by private research firms.

        • Private research firms own the intellectual property to these seeds, therefore they leverage the right of that patent on farmers across America that use their seeds.

        • Private research firms deny farmers the right to use seeds from previous harvests, seeds that have hybridized and contain their intellectual property, or seeds that were formed from pollen from neighboring farms that contained their patented information.

        • Private research firms require continued investment in their products to drive American research in agriculture.

        •  The problem is rooted in how we as a society value these private research firms.

          • The work these firms do directly affects the betterment and survival of everyone in America and through publicly funding these firms they would have no reason to covet this intellectual property so deeply. 

        • The fight over intellectual property comes with the downfall and monopolization of the food industry as a whole. 

        • According to the USDA the total number of family owned farms has decreased in the past decade. Also, the average small farmers household income is below the national average at the same time we are seeing greater profits and steady growth in the farming sector as a whole.

        • We are seeing growth because farmers are later bought out by larger corporate farms and this private land is consolidated and exploited by these powerful monopolies.

    • Biofuel and Ethanol

      • Ethanol plants in the United states are being forced to shut down and reduce production due to the Trump administration’s initiative to exempt oil refineries from blending ethanol into gasoline.

      • Done Waiting supports the re-opening of ethanol refineries to restore the demand for ethanol and supports the farming industry, however Done Waiting does support the quick transition away from non-renewable and dirty energy sources. However, Done Waiting does believe ethanol is important in this transition. 

    • Free Trade Agreements and Farming

      • Done Waiting does not support “free trade agreements” because they generally empower corporate control and displace American jobs. Done Waiting instead supports fair trade agreements. Trade deals should be negotiated to protect American workers, and workers all across the world, not outsource their jobs or lower their wages. Done Waiting believes that trade agreements have a responsibility to protect the environment and push for sustainability, and they have historically ignored the environment.  

  • Factory Meat Production

    • Factoring meat production is a means for farmers to maximize profits on meat production in the short-run. These farms are not sustainable and are inhumane because they cram as many animals as possible into small spaces in order to increase food production. 

    • Not only are factory farms unsustainable, but they are also unsafe for human consumption. The animals live in stalls that are permanently filthy. Excessive untreated animal dung is stored in manure lagoons or sheds and then sprayed back onto the land in an effort to fertilize the soil. However, the soil is unable to absorb all of the nutrients because there is so much manure. Runoff from the leftover manure results in pollution of waterways and the air. This pollution will lead to lower quality products and unfavorable living conditions in the region which will cause regional economic and population decline.

    • Currently, corporate contracts with farms prevents farm owners from being able to switch to more sustainable farming methods. Not only do these contracts force output of products at impossible rates, but they also simultaneously enforce the inhumane treatment of animals and increased pollution. This is unacceptable and unethical. 

    • Done Waiting believes that corporations should be held fiscally responsible for exploiting local economies, polluting resources, and destroying livelihoods all for the purpose of profit.

      • 80% of cattle slaughtered for beef in the United States are raised on factory farms. This type of monopolization does not allow for small cattle ranchers to thrive. 

    • Done Waiting advocates for farming that is safe and humane to animals. Animals should be able to freely roam about pasture lands. Dung should be used to fertilize the soil, and grazing should be used to help clear excess brush so that new, healthy plant life can grow. As a nation, we must work to reduce meat consumption and promote the consumption of vegetables and fruit by increasing subsidies on these crops and on small meat and vegetable farms. 

      • Cleaner farms protect ecosystems while simultaneously promoting agro-tourism, farmers markets, increased job opportunities, and a boosted economy. 

    • Water usage and meat consumption

      • 1,800 gallons of water is used to produce one pound of beef. The environmental impacts of increased meat consumption since the mid 20th century have been astronomical. However, increased meat consumption does not only hurt the environment, it is also detrimental to our health. 

      • Studies find that increased meat consumption over time can have serious adverse health effects. In 2018, the average person consumed about 10oz (280 grams) per day. This is 2x the amount recommended by our government’s nutritionists. 

      • Done Waiting supports efforts to increase consumption of plant foods, and decrease average consumption of meat products. We can do this by subsidizing fresh, healthy foods, in order to make them more accessible to all people.

    • Checkoff Tax Program

      • Checkoff is a tax program that has been put in place thanks to lobbyists in the factory farming industry. Every piece of livestock that is sold has a tax. The tax money paid by farmers goes to private trade groups such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association or the National Pork Producers Council. This is extremely unfair to farmers. Done Waiting believes that this tax should be repealed. Done Waiting will create a new tax that will force corporations and private trade groups to bear the responsibility of factory farming. Farmers should not have to pay for problems created by large corporations. Corporations will be incentivized to divest in farms. Farmers will once again have full control over their lands. 

    • Antibiotics in Meat

      • 70% of antibiotics sold in the United States are used to treat animals for diseases caused by the harmful conditions of factory farming. Bacteria can develop resistance to antibiotics over time so that the antibiotics become ineffective. The antibiotic resistant bacteria can remain in the meat and can sicken millions of people. Done Waiting believes that the use of antibiotics on animals in factory farms is unsustainable and a waste of money. In order to increase sustainability of farms, hormones and non-therapeutic antibiotics should never be used to increase the speed of animal growth, and use must be severely limited.

      • This overuse of antibiotics in our food will cause antibiotics to become less effective in both humans and animals. In the next 50 years, millions of people are projected to die because of drug-resistant bacteria. In this way, the overuse of antibiotics in animals is not only harmful because it exposes us to drug-resistant bacteria, but also contributes to the over implementation of antibiotics.

      • Ethical problems with factory farming

        • Done Waiting believes that we have a moral duty end factory farming. While animals lack the capacity to understand their own consciousness, they are living creatures that do experience pain. Factory farms cause much greater pain to farm animals than pasteurized farms. Factory farms squeeze large quantities of animals into small, dirty, diseased, and uninhabitable enclosed spaces. The animals are likely to react violently in an act of self-preservation of needs. This likely can harm other animals in the same enclosure. The animals’ beaks and tails are removed in an effort to reduce the harm the animals cause to other animals, but these procedures are extremely painful. 

  • Subsidies

    • Done Waiting believes that farm subsidies do more harm than good to small family farms and pump the economy full of cheap, unhealthy foods. Done Waiting advocates for subsidizing more varied, healthier foods and cut funds for multimillionaire farms so we can subsidize struggling family farms.

    • Over the decades subsidies have expanded greatly from FDR’s original intent of helping farmers hurt by the great depression and the dust bowl.

      • Today the costs of subsidies often reach the tens of billions of dollars.

      • Subsidies do not just go to small family farmers, they go to massive farms-- whose owners are often multimillionaires-- that use their subsidy money to buy out local farmers and push others out of business by lowering market prices of crops.

      • This practice of lowering prices artificially has the added effect of shifting the average American diet away from fruits and vegetables, which make up less than 10% of our nation’s diet. The subsidies push our diet towards subsidized crops and their byproducts-- mostly grains like wheat and oils-- which make up half of the American diet.  

    • Health and Subsidies

      • Based on a 5 year study of 10,300 US adults from the American College of Cardiology, high consumption of subsidized food made Americans 37% more likely to be obese, 41% more likely to have excessive fat, 21% more likely to have unhealthy blood sugar levels, and 14% more likely to have elevated cholesterol levels.

        • All of these effects put Americans at risk of serious disease, and undoubtedly contribute to heart disease, which is still the number one killer in America.

      • Americans of lower socioeconomic status often don’t have the luxury of shopping around for a large variety of food; financial strain forces those in or near poverty to buy the cheapest food available to them regardless of nutritional value. This causes the health of the most disadvantaged among us to suffer.

  • Green New Deal and Farming

    • Climate change creates numerous challenges for farmers that need to be addressed, including rising temperatures, drought, flooding, and irregular/severe storms.

    • 10,000 farmers are behind the Green New Deal, as part of the Farmers and Ranchers Coalition.

    • The Farmers and Ranchers Coalition’s official statement on the Green New Deal includes this: “Policies that would support family farms are closely aligned with policies that would achieve the goals laid out in the Green New Deal. For that reason, politics aside, the Green New Deal presents an unprecedented opportunity for farmers and ranchers whose practices provide social, economic and environmental benefits to demand reforms that will improve their prospects for financial success by leveling the playing field.”

    • Done Waiting believes that The Green New Deal serves to increase the fairness in farming by giving more power to small farms. 

  • Immigration

    • Some estimates say that half of the 3 million farm workers in America are undocumented immigrants. It is essential that we protect these workers.  

    • Done Waiting will fight to provide legal protection and equipment to all undocumented workers, as well as ensure a living wage of $15 an hour regardless of immigration status. 

    • Done Waiting will work to Ensure access to health care to all undocumented workers, provide and establish a more sustainable, safer, and cleaner environment for all undocumented workers.

    • Done Waiting wants to implement a H-2A program which will help hire undocumented immigrants for seasonal and temporary jobs and provide a pathway to citizenship to any undocumented workers.

    • Done Waiting will fight to provide a new blue card status (a way to be granted for temporary residency and employment) which is beneficial in applying for a green card.