Wednesday, July 18, 2012

FERN asks: Whose Side is the American Farm Bureau On?

The Nation this week explores the American Farm Bureau, which, through affiliated organizations, is simultaneously one of the most important farm lobby groups and also a major insurance operation.  The story is by Pulitzer-winning writer Ian Shearn.  It was supported by the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN).

Interesting passages address influence over the upcoming Farm Bill ...
In Washington, the 2012 Farm Bill has predictably been a top priority for the Farm Bureau lobby team. They have surprised players from both sides of the debate by conceding cuts in traditional subsidies in exchange for a large expansion of subsidized crop insurance that protects against disasters and falling prices at an estimated cost to taxpayers of $9 billion a year. The tactical, philosophical shift garnered praise even from Farm Bureau adversaries. Nonetheless, it should be noted that crop insurance is a small, but significant piece of Farm Bureau insurance companies’ portfolio. In 2011, they collected over $300 million in crop insurance premiums. 
... and contribution to the tenor of U.S. agricultural policy debate:
American Farm Bureau Federation president Bob Stallman was succinct, almost militant in his opening address last year at the group’s annual meeting: “We will not stand idly by while opponents of today’s American agriculture…try to drag us down…try to bury us in bureaucratic red tape and costly regulation—and try to destroy the most productive and efficient agricultural system in the world,” he said.

1 comment:

agriculture investments said...

It will be great for the world at large if the direct subsidies are finally phased out.