The government would save money and better target the crop insurance system toward small and mid-sized farmers by denying subsidized policies to the wealthiest growers and by limiting the value of premium subsidies to eligible farmers, said Rep. Earl Blumenauer on Tuesday. The restrictions would reduce the cost of crop insurance by an estimated $2.7 billion a year, a quarter of its projected cost over the next 10 years.
The “farm bill coalition” that guides the $90 billion-a-year farm bill through Congress traditionally is composed of farm, conservation and antihunger groups. Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer unveiled an alternative bill that would reduce farm subsidies, strengthen soil and water stewardship rules, …
Journalist and college professor Michael Pollan, author of four New York Times best sellers, says he is becoming less of a writer and more of an activist on food policy. Pollan was the star attraction for a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol to unveil an "outsider" farm bill and keynote speaker at a forum afterward to promote a fundamental overhaul of the "obsolete" policy now in place.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregen easily qualifies as a farm bill outsider – he's part of the minority party in the U.S. House, represents the Portland area and is not a member of the Agriculture Committee. All the same, Blumenauer says he will soon file a farm bill that reins in excessive spending on crop subsidies and strengthens public nutrition programs.