Whoa!  Lots of projected spending up ahead.  In fact, insane amounts:

Great idea, wrong venue:
The DesMoines Register opined on June 24 that the Farm Bill include Mental Health Clinics for Farmers in the bill.  Food producers could access mental health clinics which historically have been absent in rural areas.  It’s a great idea to have rural health care–but isn’t this something we need in a Mental Health Bill? 

Sad story, wrong cause and effect
Since farmers are greying, and the “young are turning away from the farm”, only agricultural businesses are farming nowadays.  The Phoenix Examiner-Enterprise suggested on June 24 that the bill include incentives to young people to start farming by giving dollars in aid and lower interest rates to start-up farmers.  The reasons young people going away from the farm is that there are barriers to entry–okay, I got that–but this is because we are funding agribusiness so that small farmers can’t compete.  The biggest vector for farm unemployment is agribusiness: their crops are highly mechanized and include economies of scale.  So instead of Adding to the Farm Bill, how about we cut big payments and re-introduce competition? 

Healthy food, or commodity program: Your choice:
On June 24, Edward Marty wrote in the Birmingham News that a good farm bill would include initiatives for healthy crops, and the distribution of these crops to local schools and food banks.   However, the Enid Oklahoma News reported that Representative Lucas (R-Oklahoma)  came out blasting Ron Kind  (D-Wisconsin) for trying to remove commodity crops from the bill.  The commodity program is the worst feature of the Farm Bill, a waste of billions of dollars per year that go to big agricultural consortiums for the kind of food we should not eat.  Ron Kind is also in disagreement with another Wisconsin representative, Mr. Peterson, over his plans to greatly overhaul the program.

The Muskegon Michigan Chronicle pointed out that big commodity farms, which certainly have the profit margin for better work, do not produce as healthful a product as small farms.  For both environmental and food safety reasons, they want the Farm Bill to consider dumping the agribusinesses.  Makes sense to me.

This is such an important bill!  Please remember: it is your dinner table, your refrigerator, Your legislators, Your government, and your tax dollars.   We have the chance to save money at the grocery checkout and in our taxes all at the same time.

Search Farm bill here at Ramblin’ Gal for other posts on this issue.