New Farm Bill & Oregon Tax Hikes

New Farm Bill & Oregon Tax Hikes

New Farm Bill & Oregon Tax Hikes plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

It will be here before you know it. 2012 and with that will come a brand new farm bill. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson told a wheat growers meeting in Washington this week to expect a debate on the future of the five-billion dollar per year direct payments to farmers.

PETERSON: We have some issues in crop insurance we need to address. I keep hearing from farmers around the country that the current safety net is not adequate, we’ve got the disaster in the south that they’re asking for an ad hoc disaster because the current program isn’t working for them so I’d like us to have a discussion about is their a way to use this money that would get a better safety net for the farmers.

Oregon voters have approved two measures raising taxes on businesses and the wealthy, averting budget cuts legislators said would have meant larger classes in the schools and less help for the poor and the elderly. Washington Governor Gregoire responded by saying “Oregon voters …clearly said that schools, healthcare, public safety and other essential services cannot be forsaken. It is gratifying to see that the public understands the importance of preserving services to the most needy and providing education to the next generation--especially now when those efforts are most needed.”

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

On that battlefield known as the American agriculture industry both sides, the agriculture critics and reformists, and the ag producers, appear to be gearing up for a battle of major proportions. One of the top generals of the ag critics army, Michael Pollan, could easily be considered the equivalent of that groups “talking head”. He continually spouts his eat less pay more diatribe to anyone who will listen. Problem is, he’s a journalism professor, not a nutritionist, horticulturist, or scientist.  That doesn’t stop him and it also hasn’t hurt his bank account any. What it does hurt are farmers and ranchers. The “ignore it and it will go away” approach isn’t working anymore.  Food producers must finally challenge Pollan’s and others portrayal of modern agriculture as a greedy uncaring money making machine. Is farming and ranching a business? Of course, to do either without making financial gain would be ludicrous.  Retailers don’t buy product to stock their shelves just to turn around and give it away. America’s farmers and ranchers work hard to provide safe, plentiful, and affordable food for our nation’s consumers while, like the rest of us, trying to make ends meet and provide for their families.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.

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