Coming from a long line of farmers in my home county of Barbour, I have always had a soft spot in my heart for American farm families. I know first hand how tough life can be for farmers and their families. That’s why Senator John McCain’s recent comments opposing the Farm Bill were so disturbing. McCain came out in strong opposition to the bill, saying “I don’t support agricultural subsidies no matter where they are. The farm bill, $300 billion, is something America simply can’t afford.” It’s quite obvious that McCain doesn’t understand the economic issues American farmers are facing. Alabama Agriculture Commissioner, Ron Sparks, had this to say about McCain’s position:
McCain is worried that our farmers are getting rich through subsidies, but I can tell you that in Alabama without the Farm Bill many Alabama farmers would not be able to continue farming.” Of the $300 billion in the Farm Bill, less than 30% goes to farmers as subsidies. The rest of the money goes to other agriculture related programs. The Farm Bill would expand nutrition aid for the poor, elderly, children and babies; increase funding for conservation programs; provide marketing resources for agricultural products; and create a $4 billion disaster program for farmers. Another important component of the Farm Bill provides food to school children through the free lunch program. It is widely documented that there is a direct correlation between low performance schools and the number of free lunches provided there. The Farm Bill helps ensure that all children are in a better position to learn by having a hot meal each school day no matter what their family’s income is.
In the last few years, Alabama has experienced the worst drought in the nation, hurricane and tornado disasters, and a late spring freeze that devastated many farmers. Alabama farmers need and deserve assistance from the federal government. The cost of food has been going up, but that is due to the rising cost of equipment, fuel, and fertilizer. Add to that the costs of recovery following a disaster and losses due to drought or other bad weather and it is clearly taking a toll on farmers. I suspect Senator McCain will change his position on American farmers before the November election date, but I doubt if any real farmers will forget what he has said.
Source: Alabama Agriculture Commission News Release
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.