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, October 17, 2006

What Iowa Farmers Think about the Farm Bill?

by Dick Layman, Iowa News Service

Des Moines, IA – What’s the leading concern of Iowa farmers regarding the 2007 farm bill…that small operations will be gobbled up by mega-farms unless changes are made to the 2007 farm bill.

As Congress considers reauthorization of the farm bill next year, what Iowa farmers want is for lawmakers to care more for the survival of smaller operations and less about the mega-farms. That is the result of a new survey released by the Farm Foundation’s National Public Policy Education Committee. Chuck Hassebrook, Center for Rural Affairs says farmers want the government to close loopholes in the farm bill for mega-farm corporations to get aid meant for small family farmers.

“Farmers felt even more strongly about the need to close those loopholes than their support for farm programs in the first place,” said Hassebrook

Hassebrook says the farm bill was originally conceived to help struggling family farms but that is not the case anymore, profitable mega-farms now get the lion’s share of the funds.

“We now have a farm program that effectively does at least as much to subsidize mega-farms to drive their neighbors out of business as it does to keep the little guys out there,” Hassebrook added.

Iowa farmers rank closing loopholes for mega-farms is the highest priority of all the issues that need to be addressed in the new Farm Bill.

Post a question or comment here or contact John Crabtree,

Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.


  • At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i'm a farmer, and i think farm programs without payment limits are worse than no program at all. so i guess i am not surprised that so many other farmers think the same thing. i'm encouraged by the fact that so many smaller farmers in the south agree with tightening up the farm program payment limits.

  • At 10:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If these mega-farmers want to farm every acre in the county, I don't see why my tax dollars should pay to subsidize them in doing that. I want to support family farmers, not corporate farms. The mega-farms can stand the risk on their own.

  • At 12:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm going to see Senator Joe Biden tomorrow, here in Iowa. I know that he voted the wrong way on payment limits last year so I'll be asking him what the hell that was about.

  • At 12:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Tell Senator Biden, no more promises, he's a Senator, if he wants the votes of Iowa farmers he needs to go back to the Senate and actually do something about this. And he sure as hell better vote right next time, if he wants Iowa farmers and rural folks to vote for him.


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