Farm Bill

Topics: Agriculture, Great Depression, Industrial agriculture Pages: 6 (1050 words) Published: April 22, 2014
Title Page as needed by prof

The Farm Bill
The Farm Bill was put into effect in the 1930s during the Great Depression as a way of helping the struggling farmers during the horrible agricultural climate of the 1930s. Recently, however, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and the Farm Bill have become some of the most important yet overlooked policies of today’s government. Sadly, with all of the growth in the government the Farm Bill has been perverted from solely helping farmers and the people directly involved with the agriculture business in general to a multi million-dollar business deal. The Farm Bill needs to be changed back into something that has its focus on agricultural needs by removing SNAP () and other non-agricultural previsions. The bill should also remove subsidies for large companies. SNAP and the Farm Bill

The modern Farm Bill, as we know it was introduced in 1938 under the Roosevelt administration as a way to regulate the agricultural market and the public grain trade. Any such program before President Hoover and President Coolidge shot down this point. The economic struggles of the United States began during the 1930s, and the agricultural communities were hit the hardest. Through this program, the Roosevelt administration started buying surplus crops as a way to regulate the agricultural economy, feed the poor and needy, and stockpile food for feeding the war effort later in the president’s term. In the spring of 1939, the government tried its first version of food stamps using the Farm Bill and used the Department of Agriculture to enforce it. This precursor to food stamps had color-coded stamps that citizens could take to trade for food, which the government had purchased. However, this program did not allow for any food not considered “required.” The food stamp program was then killed during the Second World War and brought back under the Eisenhower administration as the program we know today (Roth, D). The Farm Bill provides for funding the SNAP programs, or modern food stamps. Of all the money spent on the Farm Bill signed in 2014, 79 percent of it was funding for SNAP, leaving only 21 percent for the rest of the Department of Agriculture’s 73 current running programs. The idea of food stamps is a sore spot is among many Americans. One way to make the Farm Bill better and achieve more in SNAP would be to move to that program to the Department of Human Resources and have committees set up to oversee SNAP alone. This committee should, however, have a representative from the Department of Agriculture serving on it to help manage the agricultural side of it. Not only would setting the program up this way reduce the amount of stress on the Department of Agriculture, it would also allow agricultural needs to become the main focus of the Farm Bill again and SNAP to become a bill of its own. SNAP becoming a bill of its own it would allow for better and closer oversight on the issue of SNAP which, many Americans view as outdated and broken (2014 Farm Bill Drill Down). The Farm Bill and Corporate Subsidies.

The Farm Bill has another problem: it gives a lot of money to large commercial interests. Other than the 79 percent used for SNAP, there is a large chunk of the remaining money sent to corporate companies and programs, the 45 percent of the remaining funds went to crop insurance. Crop insurance is something that does not need cut in funding; however, it does need revamping (Coppess, J. 2014). The system should be changed to favor small businesses and local Ag. Insurance agents instead of focusing on large corporate insurance. Another idea is that of the self-insured farmer. This idea points out the higher cost of crop insurance compared to the farmers receiving the money straight from the government in case of a crop failure. Implementing this change may actually hurt the economy by removing the corporate middleman and his job would actually hurt the local economy by...


References: Coppess, J. (2014, February 12). Evaluating Commodity Program Choices in the New Farm Bill. AG Web. Retrieved April 10, 2014, from http://www.agweb.com/article/evaluating_commodity_program_choices_in_the_new_farm_bill_NAA_University_News_Rele
Masterson, K. (2011, September 25). The Farm Bill: From Charitable Start To Prime Budget Target. NPR: The Magazine, 64, 15-22.
Roth, D. (). FOOD STAMPS: 1932 –1977: From Provisional and Pilot Programs to `Permanent Policy.’ Rural Information Center Journal, 4, 55-81.
U.S. House.113 Congress, 2nd Session. 2642 Agricultural Act of 2014.Washington Printing Office,2014
2014 Farm Bill Drill Down: The Bill by the Numbers. (2014, February 4). National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. Retrieved April 10, 2014, from http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/2014-farm-bill-by-numbers/
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