Opinion: Reform subsidies so they encourage small- and medium-size farms producing food we can touch, see, buy and eat -- apples and carrots -- and shrink handouts to agribusiness
By Mark Bittman
The New York Times 2011-03-01
Farmers' diversified agriculture system may solve energy, health care and climate crises, Michael Pollan tells farmers
By Matthew Weaver
Capital Press (Salem, OR) 2010-01-17
USDA's new farm-to-community initiative is mostly symbol. Backbone of program is a new website for agency's existing 20-odd local-food support programs, plus extra $50 million to get more local produce into school cafeterias, as well as relaxing of rules on shipping meat, poultry across state lines. But most programs were made law in 2008 Farm Bill, which will dole out $35 billion in subsidies to agribusinesses for corn, wheat, soybeans. Until that changes, this is just talk.
By Barry Estabrook
Gourmet.com/Politics of the Plate 2009-09-17
Bush vowed years ago to end expensive commodities subsidies but backed down. Now, his acting secretary of agriculture vows to recommend a veto of the Senate's version of the farm/food bill. Belated action is better than none for this bill and its billions in subsidies for corn, cotton, wheat, rice and sugar that U.S. agribusiness produces to excess.
The Cincinnati Post 2007-11-08
Existing farm/food bill fosters obesity and diabetes by subsidizing cheap junk food and fast food and encourages land, water and meat pollution by rewarding feedlot production of livestock and fence-row to fence-row cultivation of only a few crops. Then, its authors comfort critics with extra funds for nutrition programs and environmental cleanup.
By Michael Pollan
The New York Times 2007-11-04
If Congress can triumph over farm-state legislators' desires and overcome inertia to approve Lugar-Lautenberg bill, crop insurance would replace subsidies. It would save $20 billion over five years, and would funnel the savings to valuable soil, open space and wetlands preservation programs, as well as the food stamps program.
The New York Times 2007-11-03
After fierce infighting, Senate Agriculture Committee votes to offer farmers an alternative safety net for low prices or bad weather; the $288 billion, five-year farm bill also provides additional funding for food stamps, conservation, fruit and vegetable industries, cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay, and adds fish farming to insurance rolls.
By Dan Morgan
The Washington Post 2007-10-26
Paying billions to producers of crops like wheat, corn and soybeans complicates trade negotiations and discriminates against poor farmers overseas who cannot compete; if Senate bows to pressure as did the House, administration should veto the farm/food bill.
The New York Times 2007-10-20
Religious groups mobilize around the farm/food bill, speaking of justice and the urgent need to fix broken food system, from nutrition programs and energy policy to farmers and the wellbeing of the people they feed.
By Joe Orso
La Crosse Tribune; Associated Press, Wisconsin State Journal 0000-00-00