“In the press, in the news, you’re going to hear the term farm bill over the next couple of weeks a lot, as they start discussing it, and one of the things you have to understand is that the farm bill has about eleven sections to it.”
JOE OUTLAW IS AN ECONOMIST WITH TEXAS COOPERATIVE EXTENSION.
“But again, most of the focus you’ll see over the next coming months is going to be on that one section called the commodity title, which is title one. That section gets a lot of attention, and a lot of press.”
THE AMOUNT OF MONEY PAID TO COMMODITY PRODUCERS VARIES BECAUSE IT’S TIED TO COMMODITY PRICES.
“That number goes up and down over time because what we have is a safety net for our commodity producers. When prices are down, the safety net comes up, and when prices are high the safety net goes away. It works very well, but what most people don’t understand is the whole farm bill spends less than one per cent of our national budget.”
THE VAST MAJORITY OF MONEY IN THE FARM BILL HAS NOTHING TO DO COMMODITY PAYMENTS.
“When we start talking billions of dollars, it sounds like a lot of money, but when you think about it in the context of the overall budget, when you talk about commodity programs, less than one per cent is the farm bill. Twenty seven per cent of that less than one per cent is what we spend on commodity programs.”
FEDERAL FEEDING PROGRAMS ACCOUNT FOR THE MAJORITY OF SPENDING IN THE BILL.
“When you put the food programs in there, that’s 60% of all the money spent in a year is on the food programs, whether it’s school lunches, the WIC program, or food stamps.”
WHILE LISTENING TO THE HOUSE AND SENATE IRON OUT THEIR DIFFERENCES ON THE FARM BILL, IT’S IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT OUR NATION’S FOOD POLICY HAS PRODUCED AN AFFORDABLE ABUNDANT FOOD SUPPLY THAT MAKES US THE ENVY OF THE WORLD. I’M JOE BROWN, TRACING THE JOURNEY OUR FOOD MAKES FROM THE FARM TO OUR TABLES, FROM THE GROUND UP.