Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Farm Bill

The Farm Bill Extension Act of 2007 (HR 2419) seeks to assure that Americans have access to a safe, secure and inexpensive food supply, safety net for farmers and ranchers, support for nutrition programs, encourage environmentally friendly conservation programs, support agriculturally based renewable energy designed to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The current Farm Bill provisions will expire on September 30.

The Farm Bill is up for reauthorization every 5 years and if passd current provisions apply until 2012. Under the current bill $80 billion would go to price guarantees, income supports, disaster payments and other benefits for farmers over 10 years. About $690 billion would go to food stamps, child nutrition, conservation, agricultural research, rural development, and bio-fuel research and development.

Collin C. Peterson (D-Minn) is Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and he introduced the bill. Mike Johanns is Secretary of Agriculture and his agency administers the provisions of the bill.

The Farm Bill represents a huge part of the federal budget. It also applies to one of our fundamentsl necessities, food. A consistent complaint about this program is that most of the subsitides go to the wealthiest farmers and few resources go to small and disadvantaged farmers. Reformers are battling with traditionals over these farm subsidies. AAEA has a very particular interst in support for minority farmers. Historically Black College & Universities inclusion and energy programs.

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