Author

Darvin Bentlage

Darvin Bentlage

Darvin Bentlage is a fourth-generation cattle and grain farmer from Barton County and a member of Missouri Rural Crisis Center.

COMMENTARY

Just four meatpackers control 85% of the market. Missouri cattlemen like me need a voice

By: - November 7, 2022

In the last two decades, hundreds of thousands of U.S. cattle producers have gone out of business, and we are currently losing 40 operations per day by some estimates. Just in the last two years, around 1,700 small feedlots run by independent family farmers were put out of business because of corporate consolidation. This has […]

COMMENTARY

The elephant in the room is destroying family farms, rural communities and our democracy | Opinion

By: - June 7, 2022

I love farming and have been doing it all my life, but I told my kids not to come back to the farm, because there’s no future in it. That’s the sad truth. Over the last year on Capitol Hill, there have been multiple hearings and bills and even an executive order to address what […]

COMMENTARY

Although forever optimists, family farmers are fighting for a future | Opinion

By: - February 22, 2022

Even though the cards are often stacked against us, farmers are the ultimate optimists. I’m a 4th generation cattle and grain farmer, and, right now, I’m optimistic that, for the first time since Teddy Roosevelt with the Packer and Stockers Act of 1921, we have a president that is trying to take on corporate control […]

COMMENTARY

Corporate meat lobby claims they’re the scapegoat when they’re really the problem | Opinion

By: - October 8, 2021

Recently, in a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), a mouthpiece for the corporate meatpacking industry, complained that the Biden Administration’s work to combat concentration in the agriculture industry cannot ignore the “fundamental principles of supply and demand.” Let us look at some facts to counter their claims. […]

COMMENTARY

Will Joe Biden’s executive order spark real change in food production? | Opinion

By: - August 19, 2021

President Joe Biden recently signed an executive order aimed at increasing competition across all sectors of the economy. This is a long time coming and a good first step in addressing a number of long term problems. One important point of interest for agriculture is the change to the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Act […]

COMMENTARY

President Biden, don’t make the same mistakes in rural America

By: - March 3, 2021

On Feb. 23, Tom Vilsack was confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, again. In 2011, I helped write an op-ed called “What a good president would do — that would really help family farmers.” It stemmed from President Obama’s and then-Secretary Vilsack’s unsuccessful attempt to level the playing field and increase competition in agriculture. We […]