Blog for Rural America

The Center for Rural Affairs, a private, non-profit organization, is working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Permission to reprint items from this web log is hereby granted, on the condition that clear credit is given to the original source of the material. If the blog provides information for a story, please let us know by sending an email to

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Poll Shows Payment Limits Have Strong Support

- from the desks of John Crabtree, Center for Rural Affairs,
and Chuck Hassebrook, Center for Rural Affairs,

to see a copy of the Kellogg Foundation poll go to -

Poll Shows Limiting Farm Payments Has Strong Support

Lyons, NE – Voters in three farm states (Iowa, Kansas and Minnesota) overwhelmingly support limiting direct federal payments to single farms to no more than $250,000 in a poll released by the Kellogg Foundation today. Voters in these states supported payment limitations by more than a two-to-one margin (67 percent to 31 percent).

“This polling data demonstrates what we have believed for some time, that effective payment limitations on federal farm programs are not only the best policy alternative, they are overwhelmingly popular in farm states, among farmers and across political lines,” said Chuck Hassebrook, Executive Director, Center for Rural Affairs.

The poll, conducted by the Kellogg Foundation, shows that voters in all three states oppose across the board cuts commodity programs as well as cuts in USDA rural development programs, nutrition programs and conservation programs, by convincing margins. However, they support limiting direct payments to any single farm to no more than $250,000. Support for limits on single farm payments jumps to 68 percent among farm households and to 70 percent among Republicans.

Support for farm program payment limitations enjoyed the most support among voters in Kansas (66 percent), then Iowa and Minnesota.

“When Congress reconvenes in September they will face a stark choice, practically and politically. They can cut rural development, conservation, nutrition and commodity programs that benefit family farmers and ranchers; rural communities and disadvantaged children. Or they can choose to limit payments to the nation’s largest farms. Payment limits are a win-win solution because they save money and because reducing subsidies that mega farms use to drive smaller operations out of business is the single most effective thing that Congress can do to strengthen family farms,” said Hassebrook

“Polling on public policy options is rarely as clear and convincing as in this study. Clearly, this data demonstrates that if our Senators and Representatives stand up for rural America and implement effective payment limitations, rural America will stand with them,” added Hassebrook.

Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.


  • At 9:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    No one called and asked me, but I wish they had. I cannot believe that 30 percnt of the people in this poll actually think big government checks to mega-farms is a good idea. I guess a third of people will support just about anything. We cannot spend money on education or other important things because there is not enough to go around but we can send big dollars to mega-farms?

  • At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'd vote for payment limits. I won't vote for someone that does not get the job done on payment limits. I am sick of all the excuses about why we (whining) "just cannot manage to quite be able..." to do the things that need doing. This one is easy, need to save a couple of billion? Stop sending million dollar checks to mega-farms - done! End of story.

    I mean it when I say I WILL NOT VOTE FOR ANYONE WHO DOES NOT GET THE JOB DONE ON PAYMENT LIMITATIONS. I live in Iowa and I have tried to tell Nussle and anyone who will listen that I will do everything in my power to help defeat them if they do not do this.


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