5:49 PM | Posted in ,
Congressman Collin Peterson (D) took Jeff Flake (R) and others to task this last week about demagoguing the Farm Bill now making its way through conference committee. At issue is the payments made to farmers by the federal government that some deem unnecessary. Peterson, as head of the Agriculture Committee, has been trying to get the Farm Bill through conference committee for some time now and has been forced to get extensions (see here and here) to the current farm bill in order to complete the task.

A Message from Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson

The first formal Farm Bill conference meeting between House and Senate members took place on April, 10, 2008. The conference committee will work out the differences between the bill that passed the House on July 27, 2007, and the bill that passed the Senate on December 14, 2007. Staff members from both committees have been working since early January on many of the differences between the House and Senate bills.

You can read the House Agriculture Committee's news release about House passage along with a list of the bill's main provisions here. Fact sheets on the titles of the House Farm Bill, along with all of the information available from the Agriculture Committee that is related to this year’s Farm Bill process can be found on our Farm Bill homepage here.

I encourage the public to follow the development of the Farm Bill. Every American who eats should recognize the importance of farm and nutrition policy in everyday life. The Farm Bill ensures that all Americans have access to a safe, secure and inexpensive food supply and provides a safety net for farmers and ranchers. It also authorizes important nutrition programs, encourages environmentally friendly conservation programs, and supports the development of agriculturally based renewable energy, which will help to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

After this lengthy explanation of farm policy and his history of federal payments, the best that Jeff Flake can come up with is to make the claim that he understands agriculture and farming because at the age of five years he lost the tip of his finger.

Sorry, Mr. Flake, that doesn't make you a farmer or an expert in agriculture any more than the summers I spent helping relatives butcher chickens make me a farmer. If Mr. Flake would like to challenge one of the most knowledgeable members of Congress on farm policy, he is going to have to do a whole lot better than staking his knowledge of farming to an accident he had when he was five years old.


1 Response to "MNMuseTube Update: Collin Peterson Educates Jeff Flake"

  1. lloydletta On May 8, 2008 at 10:08 PM

    If the subsidies were just to "Family Farmers" I'd have more sympathy, but they are set too high, and ADM (among others) profit from these in the same way that "Big Oil" profits from their tax breaks.

    It's also difficult to have a rational discussion about the ethanol boondoggle in states like Minnesota - and that's unfortunate. I read two years ago in England about the problems with the effect of diverting corn for ethanol production on food prices. It's only started to become something talked about here.