And We're Off

Well, the Senate kicked off consideration of the 2007 Farm Bill today, and we’ll be providing some updates as we go along, hopefully interspersed with more insightful analysis. Once again, we’re hoping Brian Depew will be a major contributor, but our soul has been crushed on that count before.

The Schafer Shuffle

Last week President Bush named former North Dakota Governor Ed Schafer Secretary of Agriculture. We have to say we were a little surprised. The general thought around the home office was that Bush would leave Acting Secretary Chuck Conner in place at least until the farm bill was over.


A brief rumor alert: There is increasing noise that an amendment will be offered on the Senate floor to lower the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) limit on farm programs (ie, if you have an AGI over a certain amount you can't participate in farm programs). As we've said over and over again, an AGI limit is fine, but by itself does nothing to reform farm programs.

Act for Farm Bill Reform on the Senate Floor

We expect the full Senate to take up the farm bill early next week. When they do, all 100 Senators will vote on the central issue of farm bill reform -- ending unlimited farm subsidies payments. The entire farm bill debate is in its final stages, and we expect the vote for REAL reform to be close.

Like the widely denounced House bill, the bill being sent to the Senate floor by the Senate Agriculture Committee includes phony reform that continues multi-million dollar payments to the nation's largest farms.

Neighbors at Work to Build a Strong Rural Community

More people are recognizing the importance of entrepreneurship to revitalize rural areas. That’s why the MarketPlace conference and the people who support it are vital. MarketPlace focuses on building jobs and the rural economy from within.


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