In The New York Times, Nicolette Hahn Niman proposes five things the government can do to help stop cruel and abusive animal practices in the US. All are excellent suggestions, but the last we find most interesting:
The United States should launch a domestic Peace Corps for farming. America needs to repopulate rural America and stimulate beneficial jobs for young people. Our nation struggles with unemployment, and yet traditional farming is disappearing partly because it is more labor intensive. Training the next generation in sustainable agriculture and assisting them to start new farms could be a brave president’s boldest and most lasting initiative.
Combined with the first four examples, this idea is a fantastic one. The problem, of course, is that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is subject to the lobbyists who promote big business, and are woefully negligent on sustainability in agriculture, and even nutrition. A government-funded Farmers Corps would have to work alongside the USDA, but a non-profit, non-government organization (NGO) could work contrary to USDA recommendations (corn subsidies, et al) and yet still help boost the economy and environment.