Back in 2007, then-candidate Obama rolled out his rural policy platform, which included a very specific promise to farmers. Obama said he would close the loopholes that mega-farms use to get unlimited farm subsidies, because he understood how they use them to bid small and mid-sized farmers off the land. The main stumbling block is the definition of “actively engaged in farming” because it currently allows mega-farms to get subsidies based on people who aren’t actually farmers!
Now, the USDA has released a new rule proposal to redefine eligibility terms for farm program payments and they’re looking for your feedback, which is a good thing because the proposed rule fails to implement anything remotely resembling the real farm subsidy reform that bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate approved in 2013.
That’s right! Congress actually agreed to give the USDA the way to make real reforms on this rule, but the USDA has failed to do what they were asked to do. You can sign a petition started by the Center for Rural Affairs to quickly and easily submit a comment. Encourage the USDA to strengthen these rules and create real farm policy reform!