China is at war against our U.S. farmers, they have sabotaged them for decades, they have found puppets among us to e.g. steal their equipment, steal their bee hives, launder their fake honey (mixed with corn syrup) via transnational shipping tactics to our country, product dump garlic peeled by prisoners, and otherwise rig the system against them. Now (recently) China has placed tariffs as high as 40 percent on U.S. food products so that we cannot compete with other nations in their marketplace. This topic is also in support of GAO "urgent issue #4" food safety and preparedness.
Farmers contribute $1.05 TRILLION to U.S. GDP as agriculture products (2016 stat), and represent 2.2 MILLION sole proprietorship businesses in the U.S. As sole proprietorships, they have little or no capabilities to identify and mitigate threats, and limited security and preparedness support. In many rural areas Police are understaffed, and must cover large territories often with a single officer as well. See this information for further details:
I propose we place farmers into a protected status as a key resource or other critical component of the National supply chain. DHS could then offer support via an internet portal connected to a secure subdomain containing a searchable forum, with collaboration capability for the farmers (e.g. perhaps similar to that offered to InfraGard participants – not otherwise known to me).
BENEFITS OF THIS PROPOSED FARMER'S SECURITY PORTAL:
1. Food safety hazard prevention and preparedness is GAO "urgent issue #4," and could be further addressed by advancing this capability (see further reading section for further information).
2. As the portal evolves, the portal could increase the ability of farmers to coordinate and plan with other farmers, to ensure a more RESILIENT FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN.
3. Farmers can at-will fill out forms, and/or discuss who is doing what to disrupt production and why it is significant, and/or why they believe it is happening (INSIGHTS).
4. Farmers near the southern border who are observing illegal alien crossings onto their property or experiencing other related activity such as holes (tunnels) dug into their fields can report this information.
5. In general, farmers can discuss SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY with other farmers, and other farmers can offer suggestions without internet trolls and adversaries disrupting and/or planting disinformation to block the resource.
6. DHS and the FBI can COLLECT BIG DATA, to evaluate threats such as Agro-terrorism, and international covert and clandestine adverse activity (e.g. sponsoring disruptions, conspiracy, economic warfare, or sabotage), AGAINST our Farmers and Economy (e.g. connect the dots of disparate conditions and analyze non-obvious relationships).
7. The CDC and public health officials could use the information to further identify and coordinate outbreak information.
8. The National Forestry Service may find some meaningful data there as well.
9. In general enhanced communication usually often offers "herd protection" as farmers and officials may be able to better offer strength, wisdom, and other resources when collaboration is maximized.
10. Agriculture experts could conduct various types of research with data from the forum as well.
Farmers are being targeted by foreign adversaries and something ought to be done about it. I believe that by doing something NOW, to support them, it would be a show of good faith and support during this time (good timing). I believe enhancements in communication, collaboration, coordination, identification and evaluation of the condition, could be achieved via a secure portal with forum for them (important initial operational components to be enhanced). Infrastructure and policy for such a portal are beyond the scope of this topic, but I believe DHS could emulate other portals they have previously created and utilize pre-existing infrastructure to make this happen. This is a logical step to further our NATIONAL INFORMATION SHARING ENVIRONMENT (as either a pilot program or as a permanent capability).
GAO URGENT ISSUE#4: FOOD SAFETY/HAZARD PREVENTION/PREPAREDNESS:
FOOD AWARENESS-2: CDC ALERT – CAMPYLOBACTER ON THE RISE