There really is no other choice.
The new chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), told the Agri-Talk radio network in December that there will be less money available for the 2012 Farm Bill than what was available for the Farm Bill in 2008.
“Everything’s going to be on the table,” he said.
In past columns, we have endorsed the National Milk Producer’s Federation’s Foundation for the Future program. In light of the budget-cutting imperative now facing Washington, D.C., that endorsement appears smarter than ever.
The Foundation for the Future program would set up an insurance program to protect farmers from low margins, such as when feed costs are high and milk prices are low. Basic coverage would be available to all farms, but individual farms could pay more to get additional coverage.
That is the kind of consumer model — farms paying for additional coverage — that the public would understand better than direct payments. And, there are additional mechanisms in the Foundation for the Future program to hold farms accountable and control costs.