Letter to the editor: Republicans cut too much from federal farm programs
By: Richard Schlosser, The Jamestown Sun
Many of us involved in agriculture appreciated House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas’ recent visit to North Dakota (at Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D.’s request) to listen to farmer and rancher concerns about the upcoming farm bill debate.
That said, the real challenge facing both Lucas and Berg is passing a farm bill that addresses those concerns within the context of the House-approved budget proposal from Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., containing $177 billion in farm bill cuts. Ironically, most of the discussion during the Lucas visit dealt with the failed “supercommittee” proposal containing farm bill cuts of only $23 billion. The real question is, “What will it cost agriculture to pass a farm bill with $177 billion in cuts?”
Given the present state of the farm economy, can Congress defend modest commodity title cuts, while cutting nutrition programs by the $100 billion contained in the Ryan proposal? As Congress writes the 2012 Farm Bill, will this proposal jeopardize safety net provisions, support for crop insurance, research, conservation or support for the sugar program. Who knows?
Yes, a dilemma, but to be fair, a dilemma of their own making because both Berg and Lucas voted for Ryan’s farm bill cuts of $177 billion.
(Schlosser farms near Edgeley)