A group known for its advocacy for progressive agricultural issues has teamed with a trio of non-ag organizations concerned about government spending on farm programs to detail a list of priorities for the upcoming farm bill.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and three other groups petitioned Congress Tuesday to advance a farm bill that promotes “resilience, instead of dependence on federal farm subsidies.”
The letter doesn’t identify specific programs in need of an overhaul, but does point to the need for “common sense reforms to farm bill programs, particularly those in the Commodity, Conservation and Crop Insurance Titles.”
In addition to NSAC, the letter also carries the endorsement of the R Street Institute, a free-market think tank, Taxpayers for Common Sense, a group known for its advocacy for fiscal restraint, and the left-leaning U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
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The groups call for investments in programs “proven to reach more producers at a lower cost to taxpayers, such as research, education, extension services, and technical assistance, while eliminating subsidies that pay large, industrial operations for the normal costs of doing business.” They also argue farm bill spending should be tracked and accessible on the USDA website. While commodity program spending is already publicly available, the groups argue “similar data on ag disaster aid and crop insurance should also be transparent.”
They also argue the next farm bill should close “loopholes promoting waste, fraud and abuse in farm subsidy programs” but did not specify the provisions in need of reform.
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