Friday, June 24, 2011

By popular request...  

(OK - one guy,  but that's about as popular as I ever get.)

The Phipps Farm Policy
  1. Repeal the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 (Look - if Congress passed it, Congress can repeal it, despite being named "permanent")
  2. End all farm subsidies, market orders, sugar quotas, dairy programs, and crop insurance subsidies. Totally and immediately.
  3. Move food stamps, WIC, etc. to HHS.
  4. Move foreign food aid to State Dept.
  5. Move the Forest Service and conservation stuff to Interior.
  6. Consolidate all food inspection work into the FDA.
  7. Subcontract NASS functions to the lowest bidder (Accenture, Deloitte, etc.). Make crop reports weekly on Sunday morning during the season and all objective. Make all other reports more frequent, at least as often as monthly. In short, make ag reports like other industry formats.
  8. Whatever remains of USDA (ERS, etc.) is made a subsection of Commerce just like other industries many times our economic size.
  9. Encourage the development of a professional body for self-regulation of farmer qualifications like the AMA and medical boards.
  10. Rent the USDA buildings. Remove one chair from the Cabinet meeting.
  11. Miscellaneous
You can sum it up as "Treat farmers just like other Americans".  Then stand back and watch what we can accomplish.

It's probably a little too liberal for many...


Anonymous said...

What about ARS and all the research they do for Agriculture?

John Phipps said...


Move that to education, assuming it survives.

Anonymous said...

You don't feel there is a need for research?

John Phipps said...


My answer was a little flip, but what do other industries do for research? Ag should compete for federal dollars from agencies or fund it privately.

I think we have graduated to full adulthood and no longer need our own arm of government for every aspect of our lives.

Anonymous said...

So you enjoy paying extortionist prices for seed corn from companies with secret police monitoring your fields? Most of the yield gains on corn since hybrids were developed have been result of public research developing the primary inbred lines. Any bets on reasonably priced technology happening in the future when private firms are the sole source of innovation? Quite unlikely.

Steve said...

Most of the farmers I know support the idea of eliminating subsidies for the farm with one tiny caveat. They want all of the subsidies that others get cut at the same time. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of examples of industries or economic sectors that receive subsidies in some form or another.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your comments on The Department of Agriculture. But I think that could easily be said about 75% of what exists in Washington DC. Having visited there in 1970, 2000 and 2010 I am just amazed how our government continues to grow.

Dave in Va. said...

Sorry I'm late with a comment--been farming.
Interesting thought--licensing farmers.
More interesting--all farm land owned by farmers.
Lead to three questions
1) How do you define farm land? I could own 4000 ac and tell you it's just my HOUSE LOT?
2) How does a farmer farm land that the unlicensed farmer won't sell?
3) Just how do you get people interested in being farmers if they can't try it? There may not be any skinny farmers anymore but it is still very hard work and not at all the idylic life every one thinks it is.
One final thought the European Union has the highest subsidies of any country in the world--but you don't want subsidies.