This is about family farmers vs. corporate agri-business; David vs. Goliath agriculture.
Please act now to help end the corporate farm bailout!
If you care about family farmers having equal access to opportunities and the land you need to act in the next 48 hours. The USDA is taking comments on the farm payment limitation rule until the end of Monday, April 6, 2009, so send yours in now. For a sample letter, view the website.
In his (non)state of the union speech, President Obama courageously brought up one of the most contentious issues from the 2008 Farm Bill debate when he called for ending “direct payments to large agribusinesses that don’t need them.”
As part of his 2010 budget, the President proposed phasing-out direct payments in an attempt to save $9.8 billion over 10 years. Currently direct payments, which total $5.2 billion a year, are paid regardless of crop prices and are not tied to need.
This means: Even in times of high commodity prices, corporate farmers still get a paycheck from the government.
End unfair subsidies now!
In mentioning unfair agribusiness subsidies, the President let supporters and agribusiness know that he’s serious about defending the rights of family farmers and giving them access to fair market conditions.
Today’s current subsidy system allows large corporate farms to take advantage of subsidy loopholes that place independent family farmers at a serious competitive disadvantage.
Because of loosely written management and labor requirements in the Farm Bill, corporate farmers are allowed to use multiple partnerships, passive investors and sham “paper” farms to funnel huge multimillion dollar annual subsidy payments to corporate entities that don’t do any real work on the farm, but use the ownership as an entitlement to bilk payments from the government.
As a result, giant corporate millionaire “farmers” are driving independent family farmers off the land, using their ill-gotten gains, supplied courtesy of taxpayers, to outbid small, midsized and new farmers who want to buy or rent new crop ground.
Please act now to help end the corporate farm bailout.