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subsidies

Data shows most American farms are still family farms

After all these years, agriculture in America remains overwhelmingly dominated by family farms. A new report by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) shows not only just how dependent America is on family farms, but also how many are independent of government. “Seventy-two percent of all farms received no farm-related government payments in 2015,” according to… Continue Reading

Raw milk’s ‘explosive growth’ comes with costs to the state

“Explosive growth.” That’s how Washington state’s Agriculture Department describes what’s been happening in the raw-milk industry in the past 10 years. The numbers say it all. There were only six raw-milk dairies in the state in 2006. There are now 39 — more than double the number in 2013 when there were 18. All are… Continue Reading

2012 Farm Bill Advances Under Pressure Over Healthy Food

If the USDA wants us to “eat healthy” by filling up half of our plates with fruits and vegetables, then why does the Senate’s proposed version of the 2012 Farm Bill continue to pour so many taxpayer dollars into programs that benefit farms that grow the crops so widely used in processed foods that some nutritionists… Continue Reading

Growing Crops with Conservation and Food Safety in Mind

The subsidy discussion in the United States most often focuses on the impact of subsidizing certain crops, such as corn, wheat and soybeans, through the direct and counter-cyclical payments program to the exclusion of fruits and vegetables and therefore to the detriment of our national health (see, for example, The Fat of the Land:  Do… Continue Reading

SNAP: the Other Corporate Subsidy in the Farm Bill?

This week Congress begins hearings on the 2012 farm bill, the massive piece of legislation that gets updated about every five years and undergirds America’s entire food supply, but that few mortals can even understand. As nutrition professor Marion Nestle recently lamented, “no one has any idea what the farm bill is about. It’s too… Continue Reading

Why Fruits, Vegetables Are Excluded from Farm Subsidies

There has been a lot of talk recently about federal farm subsidies, including whether the Super Committee is going to cut them to aid in reducing the federal deficit; whether these subsidies are contributing to growing health problems; and, whether the government is being inconsistent in encouraging us to eat more fruits and vegetables while… Continue Reading

Ag Subsidies Fund Junk Food, Report Says

Each year when Americans pay their taxes, part of that money feeds into subsidies for junk food ingredients; and hardly any of it goes toward fresh produce, according to a new report. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) Wednesday released “Apples to Twinkies,” a review of agricultural subsidies that shows that since 1995,… Continue Reading