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Congressional coalition fights to change farm subsidies
St. Louis Post-Dispatch ^ | 11-25-01 | Bill Lambrecht

Posted on 11/25/2001 9:18:19 AM PST by FairWitness

Edited on 05/11/2004 10:57:07 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

WASHINGTON - The "Eggplant Caucus" is gathering recruits in a drive to upset the congressional apple cart delivering billions of dollars to Midwestern farmers.

The caucus is an alliance of Eastern senators bent on reshaping the new farm bill to spread around the government subsidies enjoyed primarily in the central and southern United States.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: grangelist
Farm subsidies have always been a mess. I was raised on a family farm (Wisconsin/dairy - interesting that Wisconsin does not make the top ten list) and would support a program that really did something to support and maintain the smaller farmers, but the multi-million dollar subsidies for the large/corporate farms (see are not the answer.
1 posted on 11/25/2001 9:18:20 AM PST by FairWitness
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To: FairWitness; farmfriend; Carry_Okie; marsh2; SierraWasp
Thanks for posting this FW. I was at a regional meeting of RCD's last weekend and several people talked about this. I think that they were trying to get the conservation funding emphasis shifted from preservation to restoration...but I'm not totally sure on this. Maybe some of the freepers listed above could comment further.
2 posted on 11/25/2001 9:33:42 AM PST by forester
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To: forester
Thanks for the ping.
3 posted on 11/25/2001 10:04:26 AM PST by farmfriend
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To: FairWitness
Grange Leader Calls for More, Not Less Farming Calls Dairy Compacts Most Innovative Agricultural Innovation of 1996 Farm Bill

Cedar Rapids, IA (November 12, 2001) - Speaking to the 135th annual convention of the National Grange, Kermit W. Richardson, National Master (President), called on Congress to create a new Farm Bill that will "…encourage increased participation in agriculture by the largest number of individuals and families through the broadest possible distribution of agricultural assets possible." Contrary to popular thinking that the United States currently has too many farmers and too much production, Richardson hammered home the point that, "Our nation does not suffer from having too many farmers. Our nation's food security is threatened by having too few farmers!"

Richardson called for legislation that will benefit a broad spectrum of farmers rather than favor the few and to reject legislation that will lead to continued consolidation in American agriculture. He also called for legislation that will allow the current generation of farmers to retire with dignity and to easily pass on farm assets to the next generation without onerous financial burdens.

Grange Leader Calls for More, Not Less Farming
Grange Takes Stand on Environmental Regulations

4 posted on 11/25/2001 10:08:35 AM PST by farmfriend
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To: forester
In our County, we get a few grain subsidies, but that is about it. We do have people enrolled in the wetlands reserve, CRP, EQIP and other programs.

The "green" push is for preservation - eg permanent easments the federal government buys - usually from farmers who have no other option because of estate taxes or low prices. It is either sell part or lose all.

As you are aware, forester, the feds want to buy land in our county for the water use rights. If they have to buy more than just an easement, they will and then they will put the land on the market without the water right.

What happens then? Small residential development using well water? Large loss of taxable value in waterless vacant land to the county budget? Burdens on owners adjacent to federal lands for fencing, noxious weeds and varmit control? Collapse of the agricultural infrastructure from land conversion, with attendant loss to the economy (like the Klamath Basin?)

We have even heard a rumor that in order to get out of the CRP long term federal lease program, one will have to go through public NEPA review on the impact to the environment from exiting the contract.

You know that I am certainly not opposed to conservation money for projects or for staff and engineering expertise. If like the programs they tried to push in earlier Farm Bill negotiations, this green push may be another "preservationist" land grab to take the land out of farm production and put it is federal hands or in the hands of Trusts that will grossly mismanage them.

I think that the federal government should get out of the land and resource management business all together. It does a really really lousy job of managing what it has gotten its hands on so far. It does best in a support role, offering funds and expertise to locally driven efforts.

5 posted on 11/25/2001 10:10:18 AM PST by marsh2
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To: *grange_list
6 posted on 11/25/2001 10:10:22 AM PST by farmfriend
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To: farmfriend

See this link for more articles on farming and farm/environmental issues.

7 posted on 11/25/2001 10:11:55 AM PST by farmfriend
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To: FairWitness; Carry_Okie
Natural Process:
That Environmental Laws May Serve the Laws of Nature

This new book introduces a free-market environmental management system that gradually eliminates the need for reliance upon permits, regulations, and law-enforcement. You rely upon an existing part of this system every day: one that works so well, you hardly know it is there. This design is capable of pricing natural assets objectively, improving our care of the environment in harmony with an advanced economy.

This five-part work demonstrates that regulatory government operates under false premises and serves distorted interests. It is an incompetent system, structurally opposed to solving problems or balancing competing risks. The book proves its case with detailed analyses of original data that reveal a new way to do better for the environment. It proposes specific examples and suggests an implementing strategy. It is a thought-provoking work that handles an emotional subject with a delightful sense of humor.

8 posted on 11/25/2001 10:17:07 AM PST by farmfriend
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To: farmfriend; Gyroscope
Wow! Excellent book review!!! Gyroscope has it now and I'm waiting for his review, too.
9 posted on 11/25/2001 10:41:22 AM PST by SierraWasp
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To: FairWitness
10 posted on 11/25/2001 10:43:06 AM PST by Fiddlstix
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To: SierraWasp
I stole that off of his web site. Excellent book though. I've been showing it around as well.
11 posted on 11/25/2001 10:49:10 AM PST by farmfriend
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To: FairWitness; forester; farmfriend; Carry_Okie; Phil V.
I hate eggplant and despise Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the Eggplant leader!!! They are both enough to gag a maggot!!!

Harry Reid of NV gives me gas pains and the greenie weenies give me perpetual malox moments! What in he!! is the matter with these nuts?

They just can't stand "rugged individualism" and want everyone in agriculture from silva culture to horticulture to become totally dependent on governculture!!! I'm gonna HURL!!!

12 posted on 11/25/2001 10:49:49 AM PST by SierraWasp
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To: farmfriend; forester; SierraWasp
Waow! I'm honored by the continued enthusiasm.

Things went really well in Siskyiou. As soon as I complete the marketing development, it's looking into incorporation of the InsCertTM licensing operation. Lots of work ahead all of which will be helpful to completing a second edition.

Sorry I don't have much time to FReep right now. I'm running on a generator. Today is for chainsaw work hardening God's stream channels. I'm soaked and shivering, so I'd better eat and get back to work.

13 posted on 11/25/2001 1:15:52 PM PST by Carry_Okie
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To: farmfriend
Many years ago, Barry Goldwater told some AZ ranchers not to go to the federal government for help. In so many words he said..."if you go to bed with loans from the federal government, you will wind up in more debt than you are now."

Sadly, about 20 ranchers did not heed his advice...they went broke and it wasn't from lack of knowledge. Subsidies are not for the faint of heart; hard work, luck and knowledge seem to work.

14 posted on 11/25/2001 2:07:12 PM PST by yoe
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To: Carry_Okie
"I'm running on a generator."

How big is your? I've got a little 5K that runs my well and a few other lights and things. During Y2K I woulda been screwed! I had let the gas sit in it so long that I had to take it to the shop and have 'em pry the float loose in the carb, but the idiot put the main jet in upside down.

Fortunately, we never lost power, cause when I started it up it reved so high I thought it was gonna throw a rod. Gyroscope was gonna stay up here if things got rough. He kept askin me if we had enuf air filters, etc. He really woulda been upset if we blew up our generator.

Of course I gave the shop guy heck and told him next time I was gonna come move in with him, just ta git away from Gyroscope and Mrs. Wasp and their wrath!!!

At least I had it ready to go during the energy crisis, but then I got put in the "rolling black out" block that never got blacked out, so go figure.

Is your's gas, or diesel? Come on, ya gotta keep Freepin and I'm gonna pester ya with questions till ya come back!

15 posted on 11/25/2001 7:38:41 PM PST by SierraWasp
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To: SierraWasp
5 KW Honda in the garage (unfortunately). Good generator. It runs the refrigerator, freezer, lights and one other apliance. When it's loaded I have to be careful with the startup sequence. If it was 8-10 KW I wouldn't even have to pay attention other than to remember not to run the oven or the dryer. I wish it was propane. We have a 500 gallon tank.
16 posted on 11/26/2001 6:07:48 AM PST by Carry_Okie
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