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General Farm Policy - May 2013

General Farm Policy - May 2013

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Published by Janell Hendren
While updates to the nation's food security net is needed, in this interview I again battle the perception of "Big Ag" and promote the assisted free market system.
While updates to the nation's food security net is needed, in this interview I again battle the perception of "Big Ag" and promote the assisted free market system.

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Published by: Janell Hendren on Jun 12, 2014
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06/12/2014

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 AGRI LEADER 
 
Is US ar! "olicy obsolete#
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Central 2lorida3s Agri4Leader2or a decade. the Institute or Agriculture and Trade)olicy has been trying to oster a !ore !odern.co!"rehensive "olicy than the one relected in the last t5oar! bills6 Today. based on gro5ing debate about A!erica3s ood su""ly and "olitical gridloc7 in Washington. the organi8ation believes it is closer to successthan ever beore6The e9isting structure o the last ar! bill :largely ignoresthe dee" syste!ic challenges "laguing our ar!ers andood syste!.; argues IAT) in a "osition "a"er titled$eyond the 2ar! $ill6 Those challenges include :5ildluctuations in agriculture "rices that hurt ar!ers andconsu!ers. s7yroc7eting land "rices that 7ee" beginningar!ers o the land. the e9"loitation o ar! and ood 5or7ers. the gro5ing !ar7et "o5er o big cor"orationsthat over5hel! local ood syste!s built to connect 5iththeir co!!unities. and rising inco!e ine<uality that 7ee"healthy ood out o the reach o !any. des"ite itsavailability6;$en Lilliston. vice "resident o "rogra!s at+innea"olis4based IAT). outlined the organi8ation3s caseor change6:The unda!ental "roble! 5ith the current ar! bill isthat it doesn3t give enough attention to ho5 the =ood>!ar7et 5or7s.; he said6 :2or e9a!"le. there is such volatility in "rices and ar!ers have so little "o5er thatthey are very vulnerable to actors beyond their control6 Soro! our "ers"ective. an eective ar! bill needs to ta7einto account all 7inds o ar!ers and the !ar7etconditions they ace. not ?ust large co!!ercial o"eratorsand the s"ecial interests that do!inate the !ar7et6;
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http://www.highlandstoday.com/list/highlands-agri-leader-news/is-us-farm-policy-obsolete-b82489757z11 of 3 5/20/2013 9:44 AM
 
Under e9isting "olicy. as relected in the last ar! bill.large4scale "roduction o co!!odity cro"s such as corn. 5heat. soybeans. rice and cotton are overly re5arded. atthe e9"ense o s"ecialty cro"s and s!aller gro5ers.Lilliston said6:There are all 7inds o incentives such as subsidies andcro" insurance "rogra!s that re5ard ar!ers or gro5ingthose cro"s.; he said6 :$ut the e9isting "olicy alsoincentivi8es and re5ards the si8e and scale o o"erations6 And the reason it does the things it does is that large oodco!"anies 5ant those 7inds o incentives and re5ards. because they hel" the! turn these co!!odity cro"s intoall 7inds o "roducts6 That3s a very dierent 5ay o loo7ingat ar!ing than loo7ing at s!aller ar!s that are generally !ore diverse in ter!s o 5hat they gro5 and 5ho areocused "ri!arily on su""lying ood to their local andregional !ar7ets6;The nu!ber o ar!ers !ar7ets in the U6S6 ?u!"ed ,B"ercent in /0,,. IAT) says. and all -0 states no5 havear!4to4school nutrition "rogra!s6 :Des"ite sucho""ortunities.; Lilliston said. :signiicant inrastructure.!ar7eting. and inor!ation barriers are li!iting gro5th inlocal and regional agriculture6; Washington la5!a7ers are 5ell behind the curve 5hen itco!es to gro5ing a5areness a!ong ar!ers andconsu!ers that current agriculture "olicy is outdated andcounter"roductive. Lilliston said6 :'utside the belt5ay. Ithin7 5e have reached a ti""ing "oint.; he said6 :$utinside the belt5ay. I thin7 Washington 5ill try to inishand "ass a ne5 ar! bill. based on e9isting "olicy. this year6;Ho5ever. he added. IAT) is increasingly conident that based on !ar7et realities and shiting "ublic o"inion. overthe ne9t several years signiicant change can beacco!"lished6 A ste" in the right direction. Lilliston said. is the :Local2ood. 2ar!s and &obs Act; introduced in the House by +aine Re"6 Chellie )ingree. D. in late A"ril and s"onsoredin the Senate by 'hio Sen6 Sherrod $ro5n. D6 The bill hassu""ort ro! -1 !e!bers o the House and , senators 4all o the! De!ocrats6 (o !e!ber o 2lorida3scongressional delegation is currently listed as aco4s"onsor6:The bill re"resents a serious atte!"t to shit the "rioritieso the ar! bill to a !ore sensible a""roach that can beintegrated into a ne5 ar! bill.; Lilliston said6 :It3s a irstste" in 5hat 5ill be a long "olitical "rocess6 Andrealistically. it3s li7ely that "rocess 5on3t get started untilone !ore ar! bill based on current "olicies is "ut into"lace6;2lorida 2ar! $ureau su""orts current agricultural "olicy and the e9isting ar! bill conce"t. said &anell Hendren.22$3s national aairs coordinator6
 Agri Leader
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http://www.highlandstoday.com/list/highlands-agri-leader-news/is-us-farm-policy-obsolete-b82489757z12 of 3 5/20/2013 9:44 AM

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