Farm Program Integrity Act Introduced
Washington, DC – Recently, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Mike Enzi (R-WY), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced legislation that would restore integrity and fiscal responsibility to federal farm policy.
The Farm Program Integrity Act, which reflects language approved by the United States Senate in 2012, places a hard cap on farm program payments and closes current loopholes to ensure payments go to working farmers. Due to current program eligibility loopholes, mega-farms and absentee investors can currently receive a virtually unlimited government check through farm programs.
“We applaud the Senators for reintroducing reform legislation that could put real limits on farm program payments and close loopholes that allow mega-farms to obtain virtually unlimited payments that they use to drive their smaller neighbors out of business,” said Chuck Hassebrook, Executive Director of the Center for Rural Affairs. “This legislation will help ensure that federal farm program benefits flow to small and mid-sized farms instead of contributing to their demise by subsidizing bigness and farm consolidation.”
According to Hassebrook, the bill would allow investors who provide management to receive farm payments, but it would not allow a large farm to receive unlimited subsidies by claiming each investor qualifies it for another set of payments up to the legal limit. This is a reasonable compromise to close loopholes that have plagued farm programs for far too long.
“The Center for Rural Affairs supports this legislation and urges the Senate Agriculture Committee