Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Columns

October 29, 2013

Farm and food bill

Q: What is the status of the farm and food bill?

A: The clock is ticking for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to renew the federal farm and food bill that would set public policy for agriculture, nutrition, conservation, disaster assistance and rural development for the next five years. In fact, nearly 80 percent of the funding is geared towards nutrition programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or food stamps), the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program and other food-assistance programs for seniors and children. Only about 20 percent of the funding for the farm and food bill is directed towards agriculture programs. Farm and food policy have been linked for decades in order to secure political support for both. That pairing is likely to continue, at this point, but I don’t like farmers getting the blame for the spending in the bill when agriculture programs receive a minor percentage of the funding. The most recent law expired Sept. 30 and until Congress reaches an agreement, a quirk in the law automatically reverts federal farm policy to permanent Depression-era laws adopted in 1938 and 1949. Lawmakers now must iron out the differences between their respective versions before Congress sends a final bill to the White House for the President’s signature. It’s time to get the job done. Congress needs to pass a farm and food bill that will give farmers the certainty they need to plan for the next planting season and maintain sound stewardship of financial and natural resources upon which their livelihood and way of life depends.

Q: What needs to happen?

A: U.S. farm and food policy needs to maintain a sufficient 21st century farm safety net that supports rural America and America’s food producers who grow the safest, most affordable and most abundant food supply in the world. We can’t afford to let federal farm and food policy unravel into uncertainty. The next farm and food bill also needs to protect taxpayers. America can’t tax, spend and borrow its way to prosperity. Reckless federal spending is piling up to unsustainable levels of national debt. The public purse needs to protect the public good, from national security to food security. Lawmakers need to make sure taxpayers get the most bang from every buck, including spending for American agriculture and nutrition. I’m leading the effort for reforms that end automatic federal farm payments and tighten loopholes that are harming the integrity of federal farm programs. Consider nationally that 10 percent of payment recipients receive 72 percent of farm program payments. The farm safety net needs to empower farmers and producers to better manage their risk and protect soil and water quality.

Text Only
Columns
  • Farmers engaged in Iowa water quality initiative Many Iowa farm fields are turning green earlier than normal this spring as a rapidly growing number of farmers are using cover crops to help better protect the soil and water they depend on to make their living. Farmers are always looking for new and

    April 17, 2014

  • Raising permit fees will harm city Dear Editor, Surcharges, fees, franchise fees, (3 percent on Alliant bills -- council voted 5-0 on 04/10/14), special assessments, $5 million bonding (which will raise property taxes), and now city's attempts at increasing permit fees for landlords f

    April 17, 2014

  • What do you think about rental permit fees? The Daily Iowegian will publish an Editorial Question of the Week on the Opinion page. The Iowegian wants readers to think about rental permit fees. The Centerville City Council has conducted two working sessions and a third one is planned in order t

    April 17, 2014

  • The talk radio party? So what does the Tea Party want this fall? A repeat of 2010, or a repeat of 2012? The Tea Party succeeded spectacularly in 2010. Its principled enthusiasm put Republicans back in charge of the House of Representatives and, if the Tea Party hadn't bee

    April 17, 2014

  • State Sen. Ken Rozenboom Newsletter Traditionally, voting on the department budget bills signals the end of a legislative session. The budget process lasts through much of the session. This year, the process was tweaked to move things along faster than in past sessions. House Republica

    April 15, 2014

  • Make Centerville, Iowa your home Centerville, "America's hometown." Centerville, "Home of the world's largest square." Centerville, "You can't describe it, you just have to go there." Centerville, "Welcome home." These are just a few of the brands depicting Centerville that have bee

    April 15, 2014

  • April is National Community College Month Buy someone a cup of coffee. Read to a child or an older adult. Volunteer at a local hospital. Play games with or offer services to senior citizens. Walk dogs at Heartland Humane Society. Assist neighbors with yard work or spring cleaning. Volunteer

    April 15, 2014

  • Former resident applauds mayors Dear Editor, Recently, I read the March 30 Daily Iowegian story “Area mayors combat sexual assault.” I want to applaud the mayors of these local towns for signing proclamations to battle sexual assault, especially those in Centerville, Moravia and Ra

    April 10, 2014

  • Main Street in Centerville Dear Editor, Organizing for Main Street has been asked, "Why do we need another group?" Main Street is not only committed to the revitalization of downtown districts, but is also focused on the long-term sustainment of the heart of a community's comm

    April 10, 2014

  • What do you think about food prices? The Daily Iowegian will publish an Editorial Question of the Week on the Opinion page. The Iowegian wants readers to think about food prices. Are you paying more than you were last year for certain food items? According to a survey by the American Fa

    April 10, 2014

  • U.S. in dire straits U.S. in dire straits Dear Editor, Our country is in dire straits with President Obama and his agenda to transform the United States into a socialist nanny state which is being promoted by the liberal media. The left wing bias that dominates Big Medi

    April 8, 2014

  • Sheets Snapshot: Hurry up and wait Dear friends, This is a season of hurry up and wait. The House passes a large list of bills and then must wait on the Senate to do their work. HF475 bill allows any peace officer in the state the power to request a warrant for a GPS bug. I stood up a

    April 8, 2014

  • State Sen. Ken Rozenboom Newsletter We have just completed the 12th week of the legislative session. It's disappointing to me that we seem to have gotten off track with finishing up the work we have to do. Our colleagues in the Senate majority appear to be far more interested in scorin

    April 8, 2014

  • Q&A: Environmental Protection Agency have jurisdiction on waterways? Q: Does the Environmental Protection Agency have jurisdiction over waterways on Iowa farms? A: Congress writes environmental laws to set in place policies that protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land in which our food grows. The e

    April 3, 2014

  • Secret settlements? The Daily Iowegian will publish an Editorial Question of the Week on the Opinion page. The Iowegian wants readers to think about the Des Moines Register's recent reporting that state agencies were paying secret settlements for fired workers. "More th

    April 3, 2014

Obituaries
Featured Ads
Poll

The Iowegian wants readers to think about rental permit fees. The Centerville City Council has conducted two working sessions and a third one is planned in order to get a feel for the public's appetite about raising rental permit fees from charging a landlord $25 every two years to charging a certain amount per rental unit per year. So, the question of the week is, "Are you in favor of Centerville increasing rental permit fees?"

A. I'm in favor.
B. I'm not in favor.
C. I'm not sure.
     View Results
Iowegian on Facebook