Los Angeles

“Organic Groups Call for Changes in Farm Bill”

Each year billions of dollars in farm aid goes to the Midwest to help buoy corn and soybean growers who traditionally have relied on subsidies to correct marketplace imbalances.
But this year organic organizations across the country are trying to change that by calling for reform in next year’s farm bill that would spend more money on research and less on subsidizing farmers in the heartland.

They’re calling for a farm bill that would pump millions–if not billions–of dollars into programs that benefit beginning farmers or those who have no choice but to sell the family farm.

“We would like to see significant new investments in ag research and more attention paid to rural development,” said Bob Scowcroft, executive director of the Santa Cruz-based Organic Farming Research Foundation. “Even if they want to stay on the farm, they can’t.”

Although Congress isn’t set to debate and pass the new farm bill until next year, the 2002 farm bill, with more than $400 billion in appropriations, is due to expire next year.

For the full article written by Tom Ragan for the Santa Cruz Sentinel, see the online version on the Sentinel‘s web site.

Thanks to Frank Tamborello of Hunger Action Los Angeles for the pointer.