Promises Kept or Promises Broken?

Congress made a promise to rural America when it passed the 2014 Farm Bill, which was the bi-partisan product of more than three years of careful deliberation and 40 hearings.

Although the 2014 Farm Bill reduced spending by $23 billion, lawmakers promised farmers that the bill would still provide them a strong five-year safety net to manage extreme weather and wild price swings caused, in part, by foreign subsidies and market manipulation.

Peculiarities of Presidential Politics

The road to the White House is long and twisting indeed, and it has taken some unusual turns so far. Candidates have discussed fantasy football, their undergraduate college years, competitors’ physical appearances, who’s really the most successful, inheritances, and who saw whom in the green room before a television appearance.

Little of this noise affected agriculture though, until this week’s Republican Presidential debate made an unexpected detour down a rural country road. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a well known opponent of agriculture (including ethanol and crop insurance), amazingly proclaimed that he wanted to reopen the Farm Bill and end U.S. sugar policy in order to boost defense spending.

U.S. Sugar Producers Comment on Final TPP Language

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 10, 2015 CONTACT: Phillip Hayes, 202-271-5734 (cell) WASHINGTON — After reviewing the official text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the American Sugar Alliance issued the following statement: “We have carefully examined the final language and details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and are pleased to confirm that America’s trade negotiators delivered…

We See Your True Colors Shining Through

The past couple of weeks have been challenging, gratifying, and enlightening for the agricultural community.

Challenging in that an 11th hour, secret deal struck as part of a budget package contained crippling cuts designed to gut the crop insurance system on which so many farmers depend. In other words, the five-year contract that Congress signed with rural America as part of the 2014 Farm Bill would have been ripped to shreds before its effects were ever really felt.

Gratifying in that farmers from coast to coast quickly joined forces to lock arms and fight back when attacks surfaced. First, in a herculean lobbying effort to effectively beat back crop insurance cuts. Then, in sending a clear signal to anti-farmer forces angling to reopen the Farm Bill to target U.S. sugar policy.