The idea of separating nutrition programs from agriculture-production programs in the next farm bill is being talked about in some circles in Colorado. Some northern Colorado farmers and ranchers would like to see the separation – either in name, or by placing the two in completely separate pieces of legislation.
Producers believe the term “farm bill” gives agriculture a black eye, leaving the public to falsely believe the ag industry is too heavily subsidized and can’t function without the government’s help. In fact, less than 25 percent of the money spent in the current farm bill benefits agriculture production, while the majority goes toward school lunches, food stamps and other nutrition programs.
Colorado dairyman Charles Tucker believes a complete separation from non-agriculture-production programs would be best for farmers — not just a change in the name of the farm bill. But Representative Cory Gadner notes – that with so few congressmen having ties to the agriculture industry today, farmers and ranchers need the nutrition programs to get urban support for a farm bill.
NAFB News Service