February 13, 2014

Farming, farm bills, farm bureaus, climate change and Big Ag

I don't know if the Texas Farm Bureau here in the Pointy Abandoned Object state is being joined by its sister states in this one, but a Corpus Christi Caller-Times editorial cartoon, syndicated from a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist, has the FB here up in arms:

My thought? If you don't like this, then don't endorse the likes of Eric Opiela for ag commissioner, when he calls it "welfare" on the food stamp side but doesn't talk about corporate welfare.

Or, put a membership cutoff in place. Farms and ranches above X thousand dollars of net profit don't qualify. Newspaper orgs in most states differentiate between the larger seven-day dailies and smaller ones, for example.

The fact of the matter is that crop insurance is tilted toward a few crops and isn't much different than direct payments. And, the new farm bill is no better than the old one on getting farmers to do more on how they farm and what they farm, and ranch, to address climate change. And, the Texas Farm Bureau may be denialists (as may be a few others), but a lot of individual farmers already accept the reality there.

By the way, Rob Rogers has some other good stuff here. (It's free to see, again leading to questions of the self-inflicted wounds of newspapers, but that's another story.)

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