November 22, 2013

3 Things Every Nebraskan Should Know About the Farm Bill

Without a Farm Bill, it’s difficult for Nebraska farmers and ranchers to plan for their business. And since agriculture is Nebraska’s largest industry, this Congressional inaction has a direct effect on our state’s economic success.

The Farm Bill is vast and complicated. But here are three things you should know:

1 About 80 percent of the Farm Bill’s cost is for nutrition programs, primarily the Supplemental Nutrition     Assistance Program (SNAP)—which was commonly known as “food stamps.” (Maybe it should be called the “Food Bill”?)

2 The Farm Bill includes funding for foreign market development and market access programs that enable groups such as the U.S. Meat Export Federation and U.S. Grains Council to do their jobs in building global demand for U.S. red meat and grain.

3 Crop insurance is a cost-share arrangement, with the federal government paying a portion of the insurance premium and the farmer paying another portion. Without government backing, it’s unlikely that any insurance company would offer the coverage—and the nation’s food and commodity supply would be at risk. Additionally, the payments are made to crop insurance companies, n
ot to farmers.

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