From the Center for Rural Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 9, 2013
Lyons, NE – Today the Center for Rural Affairs harshly criticized a pact to block limits on crop insurance premium subsidies to high income mega-farms. National wildlife organizations made the deal with farm and commodity groups in exchange for a requirement that subsidy recipients implement soil conservation plans.
“It takes a lot of brass to block any limit on subsidies to rich investors and mega-farms when ordinary Americans face job cuts and the working poor are losing food aid in order to reduce record deficits,” said Chuck Hassebrook, Executive Director at the Center for Rural Affairs. “It demonstrates that the richest and most powerful interests have no shame about overeating at the federal trough.”
Furthermore, unlimited subsidies help mega-farms and investors drive smaller family farms out of the market for land. And crop insurance premium subsidies to the rich have sucked funding from rural community and small business development programs. Such programs have been cut in half over the decade, Hassebrook continued. Blocking crucial crop insurance limits in exchange for inadequate conservation compliance policies is a bad deal and a horrible price for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities to pay.
Hassebrook urged Senate Agriculture Committee members to set the proposed deal aside.
“These are not America’s priorities, these are not rural America’s priorities, these are the priorities of a small number of very large, very wealthy farms,” Hassebrook added. “The position of the Center for Rural Affairs is clear, reasonable limits and rules that require subsidy recipients to be actively engaged in farming should apply to all crop subsidies. And conservation accountability should apply to the entire farm safety net.”
These are fundamental principles supported by family farmers and ranchers throughout rural America. That’s why the Center for Rural Affairs does not support this deal, concluded Hassebrook.
Copies of the letter to Senators and other materials explaining the proposed deal can be viewed or downloaded at:
Click To Submit Press Releases, News, Calendar Items, and Community Events to Great Lakes Radio Stations WFXD, WKQS, WRUP, WQXO, and WPIQ