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View Diary: Is it too late for progressive farm and food policy reforms? Critical decisions facing Congress (22 comments)

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  •  Welcome, Professor Dobbs (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    samddobermann, Cc inWinston, Lujane, BYw

    How difficult do you think it will be to set a progressive agricultural agenda while corporate agriculture heavily finances congressional and senatorial campaigns? Subsidies for corporate farms continue relentlessly, and appear more as the third rail of US politics than even Social Security, which was at least debated to an extent. Present company excepted, we rarely see challenges to the existing system that does not benefit the public.


    The Republican Party: Our Bridge to the 11th Century

    by skywriter on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 10:23:05 PM PST

    •  Corporate agriculture's influence on farm policy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      samddobermann, Cc inWinston, BYw

      Certainly corporate influence is a major problem. But the fact that farm State Congresspersons--both Democrat and Republican--consistently line up in support of the commodity subsides, quite aside from corporate interest is a major problem. People in these 'farm States', including moderate-sized farmers in these States, need to start recognizing that these policies really are not in their interests. When this happens, farm State citizens can start demanding different farm and food policies from their Congresspersons--policies that are based on agriculture's multifunctionality.

      •  So what I'm hearing (0+ / 0-)

        is that you do not care about farm size, that you will treat the small operators the same as the large one, right?

        •  Issue of farm size (0+ / 0-)

          No, that's not the case. I do care about farm size. I'm saying that the 'commodity subsidies' help drive farm size up, and they do not help to keep in place a Jeffersonian-type small and moderate-sized family farm structure. Putting more restrictive payment caps on the commodity payments would help some, but better yet is to steer agri-environmental and healthy food payments to small and moderate-sized farms.

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