Provisions Do Not Exceed Losses

The Center for Rural Affairs opposed passage of the new farm bill because it commits the federal government to subsidizing the destruction of family farming for another five years and invests little in the future of rural communities.
This is heartbreaking because the bill has particularly strong beginning farmer and rancher provisions. It would provide $15 million of competitive grants annually for initiatives to help beginners get started, give an extra two years of payments on land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program if it is sold or rented to a beginning farmer. If funded, a pilot program would provide matching funds to beginners and a land sales program would offer loan guarantees to individuals who sell land to beginners. Finally, loans to beginners who convert to sustainable and organic agriculture would be prioritized.
Despite all of these wins, the final bill failed to address the advantages the farm program gives to mega farmers. If they go on creating "paper" farms to exceed the limits, they unfairly disadvantage everyone, especially beginners. Land values and cash rents continue to be bid higher, further outweighing the benefits of any good programs.
Ultimately, this destroys the prosperity of rural America and is simply not worth supporting.

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