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

Monday, September 19, 2005

UPDATE - Farm Payment Limits

- from the desk of John Crabtree, Center for Rural Affairs,

Hurrican Katrina continues to have a significant impact on Congressional action on a number of issues. Federal budget reconciliation was postponed after the impact of Katrina began to become clear to Representatives and Senators. As they and the nation began to realize the scope and magnitude of the impact of Katrina, attention shifted from Federal budget reconciliation to emergency spending bills.

As of the writing of this post, reconciliation is on hold for a month - until October 26,2005. Although some members of Congress would like to postpone further, others have stated that offsetting some of the spending for Katrina relief makes budget reconciliation that much more compelling.

Moreover, two other factors are clearly changing the debate over federal budget reconciliation:

1. A large and growing coalition of organizations and individuals have joined forces to oppose cuts to food and nutrition programs (Food Stamps; Women, Infants and Children Nutrition program; and the Free and Reduced School Lunch program). The efforts of this diverse coalition, combined with the reality that Katrina has created even more need for these and other USDA programs, has made many members of Congress reconsider the idea of cutting these programs. And in many cases these organizations have called for farm payment limits over cuts to food and nutrition programs, strengthening our efforts there.

2. Your voices, calling for protecting rural development, conservation AND food programs, have also had a crucial impact. Senators and Representatives from across the country have heard from Center supporters and allies, time and again - over the summer, through the August recess and continuing this month - that the single most effective thing that Congress could do to strength family farms and rural communities is limit farm program payments.

Your voices have changed the debate - indeed, your voices; your letters (to members and to newspapers); your phone calls; your face to face meetings; your questions at district meetings and farm bill listening sessions and every other kind of meeting have set the debate and forced Congress to consider long overdue farm payment limitations.

And there has never been a better time to weigh in again with your members of Congress. Another week-long recess has been scheduled for the week of October 10, 2005.

We encourage you to contact your Senators and Representative, see when they will be in your area - call the capitol at 202.224.3121 and ask the switchboard to connect you.

And look here for the Center for Rural Affairs' Action Alert on farmpayment limitations - - if you have called before, call again.


Post a comment here - or - contact John Crabtree,,
402-687-2103 ext 1010.

Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.


  • At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think that it would be a mistake to not recognize John Crabtree and Center for Rural Affairs for all of their hard work and dedication! If it wasn't for John getting these issues out there, most of us would never know! Thanks again, and keep up the awesome work!

  • At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks for the update John. I read in the Des Moines Register about hearings about budget reconciliation throughout the state. But I lost the paper. Can you tell us more about those hearings?

  • At 7:14 PM, Blogger Center for Rural Affairs said…

    There are two remaining hearings on cuts to food and nutrition programs and other social programs.

    Wednesday - September 28 - 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Lovely Lane United Methodist Church in Ceder Rapids, Iowa.

    Thursday - September 29 - 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Waterloo, Iowa.

    These hearings are sponsored by the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church and Iowa Citizen Action Network.

    John Crabtree,

    Center for Rural Affairs
    Values. Worth. Action.

  • At 9:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We should eliminate farm payments altogether as well as all of these social welfare programs. These are nothing but a road to slavery created by our federal government, who would love to eliminate private property all together in this country. They have plenty of help achieving these goals from socialist "farm advocates" like the American Farm Bureau and the Center for Rural Affairs.

    Clay Rains
    Trenton, MO

  • At 10:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Clay, what tree did you fall out of? Do you take calls on your radio station? Or are you afraid that your inane ideas won't stand up to scrutiny? If you do take calls, perhaps you could share your number here so that I could call in.

  • At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This station is not a talk radio station and they do not allow "commentary." They won't touch anything like this I'm sure. It would be like a station in the midst of housing projects speaking out against welfare (individual not farm welfare). They also likely wouldn't want to criticize the fraud that is social security or the crooked prison-industrial complex, or corporate hog farms, or crooked law enforcement in the area.

    That's the "bread and butter of this area... hog farms, prisons and convalescent homes... along with sticking it by way of property taxes to certain landowners.... oh and we musn't forget... screwing your employees out of their overtime pay (I know all about that) What a wonderful place!

    But if you'd like to talk about this, feel free to email me. We could even record the conversation and I could save it to use at another radio station or feature it on my website.


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