Aaron is the Program Manager for the Challenging Corporate Power Program at RAFI-USA, working to end trends of concentration and extraction in the meat industry and build resilient community-rooted animal agriculture economies. Prior to joining RAFI-USA, he worked as a program designer and evaluator for several youth asset-building nonprofits in Durham, NC. Originally from Illinois, Aaron grew up spending his summers on his grandfather’s hog and dairy farm, and later working as a farmhand on his uncle’s hog farm. These formative experiences shaped Aaron’s passion for fighting for more ecologically just food systems.
On Tuesday, September 13, Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA), in close collaboration with RAFI (Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA), introduced the Strengthening Local Meat Economies Act (S.2792), which will take action against runaway corporate concentration in the meatpacking industry by redirecting over $300 million in federal procurement toward local meat processors rather than multinational corporations, over a four-year period.
In 2022, USDA purchased nearly half of its meat from the largest category of meat processors. Even more egregiously, 25% of USDA’s meat procurement was allocated to just four dominant meatpackers: $279 million to Tyson, $13 to Cargill, $5 million to Smithfield, and, despite its criminality, $63 million to JBS. In contrast, less that 7% of USDA’s meat procurement contracts were awarded to small meat processors serving regional food systems.
The Poultry Grower Fairness Act expands protections against unfair, discriminatory, or deceptive practices to all poultry growers, including breeder hen and pullet growers, and grants the USDA administrative enforcement authority over poultry, as it already has over livestock industries. Learn about this and more.
RAFI-USA and partners have called on the FTC to oppose the proposed merger of grocery chains Kroger and Albertsons. This merger would increase the concentrated power of a few corporations over our country's food retail markets.
Don’t have the time to read 155 pages of the USDA's proposed rule that would revise regulations that apply to poultry growing contracts and the use of tournament ranking systems in the poultry industry? We've got you covered.
On May 26, 2022, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the publication of a long-awaited proposed rule regarding “Transparency in Poultry Growing Contracts and Tournaments.” RAFI-USA is pleased with this development and applauds Sec. Vilsack for taking this important step.
For years, we’ve issued action alerts and policy updates around important policy issues so that they can speak up to their representatives and key policymakers about policies that affect their lives. This year, we’re expanding the ways that you can engage in our policy work through the creation of our new Policy Action Network.
Learn about the USDA's Farmer Fairness Portal to report an experience or observation of a possible violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act or other federal fair competition laws in the livestock sector.