Left in the Dust

Congress is trying, once again, to leave rural America behind, like an old forgotten relic in the dust.
According to the Center for Rural Affairs most recent Rural Brief, the new Farm bill continues considerable funding for commodity subsidy programs, $35 billion over the five year life of the Farm bill to be exact. An additional $10.4 billion was authorized for nutrition programs and $25 billion for conservation programs.
In comparison, the Farm Bill only requires $150 million in spending for three rural development programs over the life of the Farm Bill. That is a 233:1 ratio of commodity subsidy spending to rural development spending.
This gap is even greater considering only two business and entrepreneurial development programs received mandatory Congressional spending in the bill – a ratio of $1,167 in commodity subsidy spending for every $1 of rural development spending that promotes entrepreneurship and community development.
Whether we make our living from the land or from another profession, we still need strong communities and towns in rural America.
We need strong rural development initiatives that build businesses, create jobs and make our communities attractive, economically viable places to live.
It’s apparent by the lack of rural development funding in the final version of the Farm Bill that the federal government is leaving rural communities, and the 60 million people who call rural America their home, in the dust.
To view the entire Rural Brief: http://www.cfra.org/node/1419

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