The Emperor’s New [Farming] Clothes

For decades, the needs of agricultural rural states and more urban areas have been balanced by the once every five years Farm Bill. Farming states seek maintenance of the patchwork of subsidies and crop insurance programs in place for eighty years, and urban states answer the needs of constituents receiving nutritional assistance.  Never mind that rural states have SNAP/food stamp recipients in significant numbers, as well.… [Read more]

Farm Bill: Adventures In Sausagemaking.

For those of us who have breakfasted often in Britain and Ireland, we might love black and white pudding sausages, but we tend not to think about how sausages are made if we want to keep from vomiting.

Among the occupations on this columnist’s resume was a stint as a budget analyst at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington during the mid-1990s.… [Read more]

Hey, Taxpayers…Got Food?

Last year when the nation was in the throes of discussions about the ‘Fiscal Cliff‘ which then segued into budget sequestration, the not so aptly named Farm Bill was yet another political hurdle to overcome.

Let’s refresh your memory about the actions of the 112th Congress and what the Farm Bill contains:

Remember when our incredibly ineffective, lazy and divisive Congress allowed the Farm Bill to expire?[Read more]

What does violence against women have in common with dairy products?

Take a guess. If you guessed congressional inaction then you guessed correctly. The common denominator for all of the issues is obstruction in the matter of doing something about them. In April 2012 the Violence Against Women Act was up for renewal but it was vehemently opposed by conservative Republicans who objected to extending the Act’s protections to same-sex couples.… [Read more]