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StarTrib: One-Year Farm Bill Extension Favors Rich, Hurts Land

The Minneapolis Star Tribune explains how the failure of Rep. Kristi Noem to pass a real Farm Bill is just one more Republican cave-in to the rich and powerful:

A truer and more alarming way to view the one-year extension of a scaled-down version of the 2008 farm bill included in the deal is that Congress catered to the interests of rich and powerful corporate operations. They'll receive subsidies they don't need and increased exemption from estate taxes, which tightens their grip on land ownership. Congress also degraded the conservation, environmental, energy and organics programs assailed by Big Ag.

The measure is a giant step in the wrong direction. While Americans are relieved that milk prices won't skyrocket, they should be fuming that Congress has agreed to continue shelling out about $5 billion in annual subsidies to producers whether or not they grow crops or even need the money. The subsidies largely benefit the most prosperous operations at a time when many are experiencing spikes in farm incomes and land values. At the same time, livestock producers smarting from the high cost of feed will continue to be squeezed [editorial, "Farm Policy Made Worse," Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2012.01.04].

With obvious problems and obvious solutions staring her in the face, Congresswoman Kristi Noem just keeps calling her donors, ignoring her job, and letting her Republican bosses rape the land and the Treasury for the pleasure of rich subsidy takers like her own family.


  1. Charlie Johnson 2013.01.06

    And yet the article didn't talk about the Billions of dollars that goes into subsidized federal crop insurance insuring that millionaire farmers continue to be millionaires. What this farm bill extension does and farm policy in general has done for some time now is to guarantee landowners a profit. Then we wonder why land rents has escalated and land prices have soared through the roof. Then the clamor speaks for even more and higher coverage rates. Throw in the fact, the ag sector wants either higher exemptions for estate taxes or the elimination altogether and the cycle of greed continues. Keep in mind, I have been a farmer for 30 years, millionaire on paper, have advocated for opportunities in agriculture for decades. We are doing nothing for beginning farmers while building the fortress of greed while promoting the attitude that mine is mine and what you have dooesn't matter to me. Bottom line we can do so much better. So much so that just not having a farm bill would be better than existing policy.

  2. larry kurtz 2013.01.06

    Banks had best year since 2006, women's reproductive rights took massive losses in 2012, health care will dominate in Pierre and cougars are being exterminated: human predation of resources continues.

  3. Dana P. 2013.01.06

    wait, what? Kristi doesn't fight for the little guy? my bubble has been bursted!!!!!

  4. oldguy 2013.01.06

    I am not a Kristi supporter but I find it hard to believe anybody would think 1 person in a body of 435 is going to change anything good or bad, Let's be honest S. Dak in the house means neaxt to nothing

  5. lrads1 2013.01.06

    Oh, so THAT'S how the GOP voters salved their consciences while voting for Kristi! "It doesn't matter anyway." Who needs intelligence and someone less interested in what they can take away from the federal trough when you can have someone who poses as such but gets what her job REALLY is: preservation of the privately run publicly funded conspiracy that is federal crop insurance.

  6. Charlie Johnson 2013.01.06

    Noem talks about cutting spending but with evidence she supports more spending aka----federal taxpayer subsidized crop insurance.

  7. Michael Black 2013.01.07

    High land prices are not just the product of government sponsored crop insurance. We need to look at government mandates for ethanol production as well as incredibly low interest rates and a volatile stock market.

    What our US Senators and Representative need to do is to be a thorn in the side of their leadership until they bring legislation up for a vote - up or down. We do not need to have backroom deals made at the last hour.

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