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, November 01, 2005

Nussle: "We Have Already Destroyed Our Rural Communities"

- from the desk of John Crabtree,, (402) 687-2103 ext. 1010

Nussle: "We Have Already Destroyed Our Rural Communities"

Lyons, NE – The Center for Rural Affairs recently released a newsletter article reporting on comments made by Representative Jim Nussle (R-IA) at a recent meeting with farmers and representatives of the Center for Rural Affairs regarding proposed farm program payment limitations in the ongoing federal budget reconciliation debate.

The article, which will appear in the November 2005 edition of the Center for Rural Affairs’ monthly newsletter, contained the following report of the meeting and Representative Nussle’s comments:On October 12th Center for Rural Affairs staffers and several Iowa farmers met in Holstein, Iowa with Congressman Jim Nussle (R-IA) to advocate for limits on farm program payments to mega farms.

Representative Nussle, House Budget Committee Chair, made it clear that his support for payment limitations is tenuous and tempered by his view that economic decline in rural America has been building for decades.

He contended that we have already destroyed our rural communities, that we have hardly any family farms left, and that the genie cannot be put back in the bottle (emphasis added).

To read the newsletter article in its entirety (407 words), go to

“It is difficult to imagine a more cynical view of the future of rural America. We have lost too many family farms, and rural communities do face stern challenges. But there are solutions,” said John Crabtree of the Center for Rural Affairs and author of the article. “And no one, least of all Representative Nussle, should count out rural Iowans and their rural neighbors in other states while there is so much to fight for and so much fight left in them,” added Crabtree.

“The single most effective thing that Congress can do to revitalize family farms is limit farm subsidies that mega farms use to drive smaller operations out of business,” said Chuck Hassebrook, Executive Director of the Center for Rural Affairs. “Representative Nussle is wrong; there are things we can do. We can do this. With determined leadership from Midwesterners in Congress, we can and will,” continued Hassebrook.

Traci Bruckner of the Center for Rural Affairs, who attended the meeting, expressed concern about Representative Nussle, House Budget Committee Chair, allowing this view to impact the ongoing budget reconciliation debate. “Economic decline in the rural Midwest is not a reason to avoid payment limitations reform. On the contrary, it is the most compelling reason for payment limits,” stated Bruckner.

“Representative Nussle should listen to the voices of citizens from across Iowa and the Midwest who are calling for payment limits. To lose hope now, when we have come so far, when we are so close – would be unforgivable,” cautioned Bruckner. “If his views on rural communities are other than he contended at our meeting, the best way to demonstrate that would be to stand up, support payment limitations publicly and commit to providing determined leadership to get the job done,” said Bruckner.

The House Agriculture Committee is slated to discuss budget reconciliation tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. (EDT) in room 1300, Longworth Building. Their proposed cuts, if passed, will then be reported to the House Budget Committee. Final committee action and floor votes are expected in both the House and Senate in November.

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.

for more information post a question or comment here or contact -
John Crabtree,
Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.


  • At 9:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    When are the Democrats going to get after Nussle for saying this?


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