Although Congress passed an extension on 2002’s Farm Bill until April 18, requiems are already being said for the hopes and dreams everyone had for radical change.
“A little more than a year ago,” The Wall Street Journal said yesterday in this excellent article, “the stars appeared to be aligned for significant changes to the complex piece of legislation known as the farm bill… But now serious reform is likely to be left behind like corn husks flung from a combine.”
As explained by Lauren Etter and Greg Hitt, the farm lobby continues to be an extremely powerful force on Capitol Hill (n.b. this link is only free to non-subscribers for another 5 days).
Meanwhile, over at Gourmet magazine, they’ve got an article by Sam Hurst called “Betting the Farm,” that examines the Farm Bill, subsidies, and one South Dakota family living in the heart of subsidy country, but following a different path. “I’ve got a philosophical problem with growing corn,” says young farmer Michael Stiegelmeier, “Most corn goes to livestock. I prefer to feed grain to people, and I prefer for cattle to eat grass.”