U.S. Farm Subsidies Face The Budget Axe — Seriously
TheColorado Farm Bureau seems similarly inclined. Spokesman Troy Bredenkamp told reporters, “To be honest, we get beat up over direct payments all the time. [They] have helped maintain an abundant and affordable food supply for the United States, but on the other end we’re tired of getting a black eye for it. There’s a better way to handle a safety net for agriculture than through direct payments.”
Even American Farm Bureau lobbyist Mary Kay Thatcher acknowledged her group sees the handwriting on the wall in the 2012 Farm Bill.
“I don’t think there’s anybody who doesn’t think we’re going to look at direct payments,” she said. “We need to look at what is really necessary in the safety net and what farmers and ranchers could live without.”
Vilsack, a former Democratic governor of Iowa, has been barnstorming through the Farm Belt, “trying to identify the fundamental principles that will drive the Farm Bill discussion,” he said.
His discussions have included “how to do more with less, and on whether to continue to provide farmers with a little bit of help every year, or more substantial assistance when it’s needed most.”
Hoag, who has served as an adviser on several Farm Bills, warned against characterizing the 2012 Farm Bill’s provisions before it’s signed.
“Never discount what happens at 11 hours and 59 minutes,” he said. “People make deals at the last minute.”