You don't even score. The battle to reform farm policy may turn out to be little more than a tantrum. Gosh, it was exciting for a while. Imagine treating farmers like grownups! Even the White House got caught up in it.
But we were just fooling ourselves. A House ag subcommittee just brought us back to reality.
The panel, a subcommittee of the House Agriculture Committee, brought each of several proposals for change to the farm bill to a vote before rejecting them, sending a strong message to those pushing for major changes to farm legislation. They include the Bush administration and a bipartisan coalition led by Representative Ron Kind, Democrat of Wisconsin.Extending the current farm bill is easier, of course and will allow those of us who have been winners to continue current trends. We could know the outcome soon enough for 2008 cash rent bids, and without any meaningful payment limits, we can guess what that market will look like.
The Bush proposal received one vote. The Kind proposal was defeated unanimously, as was an unusual proposal from Citigroup that suggested a voluntary buyout to farmers receiving subsidies. Even modest reforms introduced by committee leaders were rejected. [More]
While there may be some minor drama on the House floor, or even the Senate, I'm sensing a political waxing here. The effort to persuade for rational treatment of our profession by our government is just one of a number of lost causes I have supported. Like the metric system.
I'm also cashing my checks with a slightly clearer conscience. (Not really - but it sounds tough, doesn't it?)