APPLETON, WI – Pro-Worker and populist U.S. Senate candidate Tom Nelson is making headlines after unveiling his unprecedented and visionary food sovereignty plan. He is the only elected official to come from a red county with substantial rural areas. With an average of one dairy farm closing a day, Nelson is taking the initiative no other candidate has and proposed a new dairy revitalization plan. Stabilizing the price of milk, advocating for strategic food reserves and hemp policy plans which benefit small farmers, and going against out of state factory farms are all a part of Nelson’s aggressive approach to help rural Wisconsin.
To read the plan click HERE.
Here’s some of the coverage of Nelson’s plan:
But at this point the standout plan is that of Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson.
Nelson, who has deep family roots in rural Wisconsin, understands the complex interplay of economic and social issues impacting regions that are often neglected by policymakers in both parties. And he offers a comprehensive approach that respects the important work of the Wisconsin Farmers Union and other groups that stand up for working farmers and their communities. In addition, the candidate is prepared to take on corporate power in the robust language that the times demand.
Nelson promises to work at the federal level to keep dairy farmers on the land and to get new farms going. In particular, he focuses on assuring that farmers get fair prices for what they produce by reducing the influence of Big Ag interests that are more interested in rewarding out-of-state investors than Wisconsin farmers. To that end, the candidate promises to work to break up agribusiness monopolies in the seed, fertilizer, meat and dairy sectors, among others. He calls for reforming farm subsidies to invest in local and regional food economies. He favors mandatory country-of-origin labeling so consumers know where their food is coming from and can genuinely “buy local.” And he wants to stop out-of-state industrial factory farms from “invading rural Wisconsin.”
In addition, he’s an advocate for a Medicare for All plan that guarantees rural Wisconsinites quality health care, and for major investments in rural broadband so that no community is disconnected from the digital revolution.
Nelson’s plan is comprehensive. More importantly, it recognizes the need for the bold approaches that are required in order to challenge corporate power.
As the candidate says: “The recent run-up in food prices and the hollowing out of our rural communities are both rooted in corporate control and consolidation in our food and agriculture system. Just like we’ve allowed our domestic manufacturing to go abroad, so we are allowing our family farms to whither and foreign companies to take control. It used to be in my dad’s time you could milk 50 cows and support your family. Now we have only 6,500 remaining dairy farmers. Consumers don’t benefit from this system either. We need food sovereignty as a matter of national security to rebuild a local, resilient food economy. I’m proud to be the first Senate candidate to propose such a vision.
“I’m the only candidate to have spoken out about the threats of out-of-state industrial factory farms in places like Burnett County. We do not need Wisconsin to turn into another Iowa!”
A.J. Bayatpour of WKOW featured Nelson’s plan, “Capital City Sunday: Michels undecided on background checks; Senate Dems offer varying farm plans.” Watch the clip here:
“Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson wants to bring back parity pricing, which ties commodity prices to production costs.
That policy was in place for much of the 20th century but was phased out in the early ’80s. Speaking at the Hinchley farm, Nelson was quick to note that, since 1980, Wisconsin has lost about 85 percent of its total dairy farms.
“What this means is ensuring a consistent and fair price for farmers,” Nelson said. “So this controls the up and down spikes, like what we’re seeing right now.
Nelson has visited all 72 Wisconsin counties and runs on a push to make drastic changes, like making broadband internet a public utility.
“The current system just doesn’t work,” Nelson said. “If this current system worked, we would not have had this catastrophic loss of family farms.””
“Nelson said the plan “gives every dairy farm a base level of milk production depending on past production. Farmers who want to expand beyond that base would pay a market-access fee for additional milk.””
“That means busting up the big corporate monopolies that drive costs for inputs up so high,” Nelson said. “There’s only three, maybe four companies, fertilizer companies, or seed companies, or tractor companies, and they have the market in a headlock.”
Nelson also advocated for Medicare For All to help farmers access critical health care needs and said we need to make more investments in rural broadband.”