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Wed Apr 4, 2012, 12:18 PM

Shifting Prospects for a New Farm Bill

Later this year, the federal Farm Bill that was enacted in 2008 is set to expire. Although Congress already has plenty on its plate—not to mention the ongoing kerfuffle over Obamacare at the Supreme Court—there’s a good chance they’ll make room for this. Because of its size and scope, the direction the Farm Bill takes has a big impact not just on agriculture and farming communities, but also on environmental policy, trade, and the overall health and safety of Americans. Subsidies and payments to farmers and farming communities may be the most contentious portion, but the bill also doles out money for programs like food stamps, disaster relief, and conservation. Essentially, this is where the debate on U.S. food policy begins.

And every five years or so, when the Farm Bill comes up for renewal, that debate ignites again. A look at the most recent cycle gives some idea of what’s ahead. At the end of 2006, Oxfam published a briefing on the politics surrounding the then-current Farm Bill, which was set to expire the following year. For decades, the report argued, the Farm Bill has been skewed to benefit mostly the largest and most profitable farmers, at the expense of the little guys. Commodity subsidies—which make up the second largest chunk of the Farm Bill’s budget—go overwhelmingly to the small number of conventional, large-scale farmers who grow the “program crops” of corn, wheat, cotton, soybeans, and rice. The roughly 75 percent of farms that grow and sell other products (or program crop growers that are too small to collect support) receive just 8 percent of the Farm Bill’s subsidies. As a result, over the course of several generations, farms have become much bigger, and many smaller farmers have been pushed out. Oxfam also pointed to the underlying health effects of conventional and factory farming, and a food system that relies on processing artificially cheap foods like corn.

Read more: http://www.utne.com/environment/shifting-prospects.aspx#ixzz1r5ae26KG

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Reply Shifting Prospects for a New Farm Bill (Original post)
BridgeTheGap Apr 2012 OP
chase48 Jun 2012 #1

Response to BridgeTheGap (Original post)

Thu Jun 21, 2012, 12:05 PM

1. food stamps


if you are a senior or disabled and have liquid assets of 3250.00 you do not qualify for food stamps, the apathetic house republicans passed that bill and cut food stamps by 3.5 billion to avert cutting defense spending, that bill sponsored by Ryan and Sessions, you could call that the Senior Holocaust

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