The Senate Agriculture Committee has slated the week of June 11th for markup of its farm bill. Despite repeated calls for fundamental subsidy reform it appears that the Senate Agriculture Committee bill will be maintaining the status quo. One of the fighters for reform is Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA). For years the Senator has been leading the charge to push for common sense reforms, such as ensuring that only actual farmers receive subsidies, and setting payment limits for commodity programs. He has also noted in the past that “there’s a problem when 10 percent of farmers receive 70 percent of the benefits. What’s worse is that the 10 percent receiving most of these benefits are wealthy farmers who use the money to bid up land prices and keep young and beginning farmers from the business.”
As a farmer, citizen and legislator, Senator Grassley can provide a unique perspective on what reforms need to be made in the upcoming farm bill. After his remarks, there will be a panel of experts to further discuss farm subsidy reform.