U.S. Senate Kicks-off Farm Policy Debate on 2012 Re-authorization

On Thursday, May 26, the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee held its first hearing on the five-year reauthorization of the Farm Bill.  The panel is beginning what many believe will be a long, arduous process as they write the nation’s farm policy amidst looming federal budget cuts. While witnesses generally focused on U.S. farmers productivity and their ability to feed a…

Obama: Revamping the Farm Subsidy System

In a CBS town hall meeting on May 12th, President Obama discusses how difficult it is for congressional leaders from rural districts that have historically benefited from existing farm subsidies to change policies to address 21st Century challenges in agriculture. More than ever, if your organization needs its voice heard in Washington and assistance in protecting…

Michigan Farm Bill Hearing

Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, announced the Committee’s first Farm Bill field hearing on the 2012 Farm Bill in East Lansing on May 31st. The hearing will focus on the upcoming reauthorization of the 2012 Farm Bill and will examine agriculture issues including specialty crops, energy, conservation,…

Year 2050: 9 billion mouths to feed?

World Population Graph courtesy of WikipediaAccording to scientists, by the year 2050, the world population will be at about 9 BILLION people. Unless we adjust today’s agricultural and food production methods, this will mean that about 1 BILLION people on the planet will be starving and malnourished.

ANOTHER Population Boom!

In the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s there was a great deal of lip service given to the term “population boom”. Families reunited after World War II literally spawned the Baby Boomer generation. In the last five decades the world population has expanded from a few billion to nearly triple at 6.8 billion currently. Projections indicate that number will increase, adding another 2-6 billion in the next 4 decades.…

Ideas for Farm Bill Funding

Below are some ideas on re-directing federal farm bill funds toward 21st century challenges in agriculture:

  1. Streamline the approval processes of biotechnology products – As the world population grows from 6 billion to 9 billion people, if the U.S. is going to effectively compete for this growing market an efficient and effective biotechnology regulatory process will be key to success.…

Are Your Programs on the Chopping Block in the Next Farm Bill?

In mid-April the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a budget resolution (235-193) for fiscal year 2012.  It estimated that the 2012 Budget proposes $178 billion in agriculture program cuts over the next 10 years. While the Budget Committee made it known that the Agriculture Committee will choose what programs to cut, they did suggest:

  • $127 billion in cuts to the food stamp programs,
  • about $30 billion in cuts to commodity programs,
  • about $20 billion in cuts to other programs, and
  • specifically mention conservation programs.

In the U.S. Senate, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) has unveiled a tentative draft that would cut the federal deficit by about $4 trillion over a decade.

Conrad’s draft proposal raises taxes by about $2 trillion and cuts spending by $1.5 trillion. Additional savings of about $600 billion would come from reduced interest payments. Savings of about $900 billion are achieved from defense programs and $300 billion in savings are proposed from non-security spending over a decade. It would also secure about $300 billion in entitlement savings over the decade.

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