In a recent Focus on Agriculture column, the 2013 farm bill and Farm Bureau were compared hand-in-hand as “lone rangers” in the political arena. Recently, Congress drafted the farm bill amidst a decline in federal funding, and Farm Bureau offered a financially responsible proposal that would provide a measure of equity across crop sectors while also assisting farmers with weather and market-related problems.
Farm Bureau is also in favor of: strengthening crop insurance; offering farmers a choice of program options to complete their “safety net;”and programs that encourage farmers to follow market signals versus making planting decisions based on government payments. Currently, U.S. farmers already receive higher amounts of their gross incomes from the marketplace rather than from government supports compared to other nations, which is shocking to many.
With budget cuts in full swing, it is not a far cry from reality that America’s farmers and ranchers will not receive the same level of government support that they have in previous years. Farm Bureau’s farm bill proposal seeks to use the limited resources that are available while protecting our nation’s food producers – as only a general farm organization can do. It will be up to Congress to go to bat for the lone ranger before the current farm bill expires in September.
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