Small Farmers Fear Trump Turning Chicken in Push Against Meat Industry

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it was delaying implementation of an Obama administration rule designed to give America’s farmers more leverage in their dealings with mammoth agriculture companies that control almost every aspect of their livelihoods, so-called Big Meat. 

The move, though not out of the ordinary for an incoming administration, is seen by farmer advocacy groups as a sign Trump is bending to the will of the industry, which strongly opposes the rule.

The decision comes as Sonny Perdue III, the president’s pick for Secretary of Agriculture, is likely to be confirmed next week. Perdue is the former governor of Georgia, the country’s top chicken producing state, and has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from agribusiness, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

And finally, Trump has proposed a 21 percent budget cut to the USDA, provoking an outcry from agricultural groups who worry rural communities will be hurt most.

Those communities were a

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