The House of Representatives faced a clear choice on Thursday afternoon when it came time to vote on the farm bill – formally known as the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013. It’s kind of ironic that “reform” is in the title, since a lack of true reform helped doom the bill.
How many members of Congress receive farm subsidies? If the House adopts an amendment to the farm bill requiring disclosure of subsidy recipients, including those who get crop insurance subsidies, we’ll finally get to know.
On the eve of floor action in the House on the farm bill, a bipartisan gathering of Congressional staff ventured outside the Beltway the other day to visit Terry Ingram’s 220-cow organic dairy farm in Virginia’s Culpepper County.
Since it was first authorized in the 1996 farm bill, USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program has grown into the single most important federal program that helps farmers and ranchers protect farmland and the environment as they grow America’s food.
The budget-busting farm bill approved Wednesday night (May 15) by the House Agriculture Committee and its leaders – Reps. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) – is nothing but bad news for the environment.
Two out of every five farmers who seek assistance in reducing water pollution from their fields or the amount of pesticides and antibiotics they use are being turned away because USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service lacks sufficient funding.
Here’s the bottom line: Both farm bills proposed this week (May 13) by the House and Senate Agriculture committees would cut funding for the hungry and the environment to help boost subsidies for the largest and most successful farm businesses.