Field needs to be leveled for family farmers

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Guest Commentary

Sen. Grassley (IA) and Rep. Fortenberry (NE) are standing up for family farmers in very tough times. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced they plan to release regulations this year addressing payments to family farms. These payments offer essential support to family farmers, but current loopholes are exploited by the largest farms that sometimes receive hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in payments.

Sen. Grassley and Rep. Fortenberry have asked USDA to make sure that only people actively engaged in farmingthose with “dirt under their fingernails”—benefit from those payments, and that USDA curbs what are effectively limitless payments to corporate farms. Most family farmers—those struggling right now with saturated fields and unplanted corn—will never be able to access the hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments that are available via loopholes to the largest operations.

The farm bill, passed last year, added  a requirement that USDA expands the people involved in a farm operation who are eligible for payments to include cousins, nephews, and nieces. Sen. Grassley and Rep. Fortenberry are asking that when USDA writes these regulations, they use the opportunity to strengthen requirements for farm involvement of these family members.

At a time when the playing field is tougher than has been seen in years, it is vitally important USDA enforces these requirements to make that playing field more level.

Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.

Upcoming Events

Monday, February 24, 2020
4th Monday, 6 p.m., Council Chamber
Monday, February 24, 2020
Mondays, 1:30 p.m., 201 1/2 E Main St.
Monday, February 24, 2020
Second & fourth Monday at 11 a.m., Big Horn Resort, 1801 Majestic Lane, 281-8455
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
4th Tuesday, 7 p.m., Laurel Airport
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
2nd and 4th Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Council Conference Room
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
2nd and 4th Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m., Council Chambers


Do you use video surveillance to protect your property?

The Laurel Outlook


Click Here to Check Out Our Latest Ads

We use Google cookies to determine our demographic of visitors to our site. You can opt out here.

We also use Twitter Analytics to track clicks from our twitter feed. 

You can find all the City Council documents that we have received here.