I agree with you about legislators outside of the ag committee not knowing what the farm bill is about, including those that keep adding money to the non-ag portion which seems to increase exponentially every 5 years. Yes, the budget for ag is small, actually, less than 1/4 of 1% instead of the 1% you mention. Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh describes it as "rounding error" and less of a line item.
I might even add that some members of the ag committees need a little educating as well. This "Tea Party" victory put several freshmen legislators in the seat and they have no clue what agriculture is all about. All they want to do is cut the federal budget and they are motivated to use a hatchet approach rather than a scalpel.
As for ag being like the Koch brothers, I have to respectfully disagree with you. They are worth over a billion dollars, collectively. Nobody knows exactly as they are a private entity. At this point, I know of no farmer other than Warren Buffett's son and Ted Turner that may approach that number. There may be others, but in a very small minority.
Special non-ag interest groups like to use the "American Gothic" image or the "Norman Rockwell" picture when they attack traditional agriculture. They say farmily farms do not exist, except those who fit that antiquated image of agricutlure, one that has 160 acres or less ---all organic of course-- 20 cows, 15 pigs and a flock of chickens, with the husband and wife dressed like they were back in the Rockwell days.
These groups are using an emotional argument to demonize traditional agriculture, even though about 98% of all farms in the U.S. are still owned and controlled by family farmers. Some may have a corporate or partnership structure, but they still are family owned.
Going back to the earlier paragraph; if enough people are motivated to change the way crop insurance and farm policy is legislated, they need to find common ground with each other, present their case before the ag committees and see where the votes end up. If it is truly important that we limit the mega farms with crop insurance and program benefits, get the votes on the Hill. That's how we initiate change in this country.
I won't argue with much of what you've written on this last post. We obviously have different experiences and different perspectives. That's not a bad thing, either.
Yes, agri-business has the money. I also believe grassroots farm organizations have a lot of clout when the votes come down, as you mentioned.
Our farm runs through millions of Dollars a year. I have landlords counting on us equipment dealers counting on us, input suppliers all rely on us fueling the local economy and supporting their way of life. You cap insurance that low and the whole midwest goes down. Crop insurance is not the devil you obviously aren't smart enough to know how to use it.
No, I think you should be capped at around $20K per year.
You can still buy as much as you want, you just need to pay for it.
What I am talking about is the percentage of premium that the government currently subsidizes which varies, depending on product and other elections.
If a 5,000 acre MW farmer is using a product that costs him $12/acre, actual cost might be 30. So the subsidy would be $18, or $90k.
A $20K cap would approxximately give a 1000 acre farmer the same subsidy as is currently enjoyed. The 5000 acre farmer would be getting the same thing on his first 1000 acres so seems "fair" to me.
Hi BA, I'm interestied you would think I should be all over this thread. You all know that I believe and will continue to believe ALL forms of farm subsidoes should end now. "Hobby would be saying essentially what we have" Looks to me like reading on here that many are saying what I always say end the welfare programs bring back capitalism, supply and demand let the markets rule. Like you say end the winner and loser govt mentelity in our business world what were doing now is non ag must work within the ralm of capitalism but not for the ag producers. I don't understand your Don agreement comment can't say I respond to any if none of Don's comments. I guess I'm a forum goofs cause I rally against the farm welfare state that some on here support .