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Spending Big at the Ag Department

Bruce Krasting's picture





 

Last weekend I wrote about legislation sponsored by House Republican “Buck” McKeon (R.Ca) who is the head of the powerful Armed Services Committee. Buck had proposed a spending plan for the military that maintains spending on guns and ammo at the highest level in the nation's history. The proposal's spending levels are above those set by congress in last year’s Budget Control Act. I gave the Republicans gas for coming up with such a ludicrous plan. Many readers read concluded that I was just shilling for the Democrats. In an effort at that “fair and balanced” thing, l will hack up a Democratic proposal on spending this weekend.

Senate Democrat, Debbie Stabenow (MI), head of the powerful Agricultural Committee, has come forward with her plan for spending by the US Agricultural Department (USDA). The legislation (S.3240) would put spending by the good old USAD at $969 billion over the next nine years.

A budget hasn't been approved in 1,100 days, so it’s difficult to compare the proposed spending with what has happened the past few years at the USDA. The last time a budget was seriously considered, the 2013-22 spending was $997b. So it looks like cuts of $23b have been proposed this time around. But that is just for show. The bill has supplementary provisions for “credit assistance,” “education,” and “trade promotion”. The add ons come to an extra $28B over the next decade, so what has been offered up by Senator Stabenow has no cuts at all.

It’s not that I want to cut the USDA budget to the bone. After all, they are doing such a good job of protecting the country’s food supply, right? Well, actually, they aren’t doing so well at that. The CDC spells it out:

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48 million folks got sick from what they ate last year, 128k ended up in the hospital, 3,000 ended up in the morgue. This holiday weekend some 400k folks will be up puking their guts out, 3,000 will end up in a hospital, and 25 folks won’t make it till Tuesday. So if you’re planning a BBQ to celebrate Memorial Day, watch out for the rancid lamb, the salmonella salad, and the Norovirus burgers.

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The real job at the USDA is protecting the farmers. You would think that the unending recession would put those hard working folks in the fields in distress. Actually that is not the case. Farmers have been doing better than the bankers the past four years. Total revenues are up 15%%, net income has risen by 8% ($92b). (link)

The real estate crisis has crushed many Americans, but not the farmers. Arable land is at the highest value in history. Prices were up 20% in both 2010 and 2012. In the past ten-years, farm land values have more than doubled:

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Senator Stabenow is probably doing what she’s supposed to be doing. As the head of the Senate’s Ag Committee she’s supposed to be sucking up taxpayer money and seeing that it’s spent on the farmers she’s supposed to represent. Her home state, Michigan, is a modest player in agriculture. It’s ranked 22th, but farming is still a success story in the “Mitten.”

In Michigan, 41% of all farmers are getting checks from the USDA. Of those farmers on the dole, the top 10% are getting 71% of the handouts. (Link) No doubt this has helped the good Senator’s fund raising efforts; she’s been around for twelve years.

It being an election year, we will have more than the usual amount of political speeches this Memorial Day. Republicans and Democrats will be out there pushing the “debt/deficit” hot buttons. They will be selling a message of austerity and a return to some level of sanity with deficits. But when you look at what the Reds and Blues actually do when they are back in D.C. drafting legislation, you'll see that that both sides of the aisle are proposing spending on their pet projects. Neither side has any interest in cutting spending. What they will be saying on the stump this weekend will sound nice, but actually they are all lying.

 

Note:

Don’t get too riled up about the spending bills from Buck or Diane. There is not a chance in hell that any of this will pass. We will go another 400 days without a budget. Someday we will pay a price for this.

 

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Mon, 05/28/2012 - 01:49 | Link to Comment jballz
jballz's picture

 

Damn Bruce, did you ever miss the bitchfest opportunity on this one.

The USDA spends dick on food safety or any other program. 72% of their budget is allocated to foodstamps. About $120 billion of the 155 billion for next year.

 

http://www.obpa.usda.gov/budsum/FY13budsum.pdf

 

You're welcome. Still a mystery why this program hasn't been lobbed over to the welfare agencies. Tradition I guess. For comparison purposes, every crop grown in the USA combined only netted about $350 billion last year. So if you drew the USDA budget for foodstamps as a straight line subsidy to the farmers, the federal gov paid for 30% of the agricultural output of the country through the food stamp program.

Land of the free and fat.

 

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 22:56 | Link to Comment css1971
css1971's picture

Same in europe. I bought a farm.

I think we're doing better on the food safety thing though.

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 23:12 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Do they still offer those low income rural developement loans?

You get the loan to buy a farm which you have to farm, any crop, for at least five years.

 

 

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 22:42 | Link to Comment YungHungAndLegal
YungHungAndLegal's picture

A quick rinse followed by 165o heat would save a lot of money and a lot of lives, even if Darwin says otherwise.

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 22:09 | Link to Comment daveeemc2
daveeemc2's picture

I am shocked - shocked I tell you!

Who'd'a thunk that human sewage fertilizer might make us sick or dead.

Gives new meaning to "eat Sh!t and die"

Sludge - its whats for dinner.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sludge

Bon appetit!

 

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 23:11 | Link to Comment css1971
css1971's picture

But cow and pig shit is just hunky dory of course?

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 23:01 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

daveeemc2

The Japanese had a class of people who collected sewage to act as fertilizer.

You can also buy chemical toilets which turns your waste into compost.

I have to think that the US waste wasn't treated properly. Or not allowed to decompose long enough and allowed the likes of E coli to breed.




Sun, 05/27/2012 - 21:00 | Link to Comment spekulatn
spekulatn's picture

Time's Andrew Ferguson has an important piece in the current issue of the magazine that details the many signs of how the nouveaux-estatist feast off of taxpayer money as government continues to expand, despite the overall struggling economy. Here are key excerpts from the article that should shock you at to what is going on in Washington D.C. (And this report doesn't even include reports of the use of a date rape drug by a senior executive at a major D.C. think tank):

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2012/05/nouveaux-statists-party-on-...
Sun, 05/27/2012 - 20:59 | Link to Comment proLiberty
proLiberty's picture

One difference here is that nobody is going to send a SWAT team to raid Jimmy Johns.  It will all be done by people in suits and Ph.Ds to study how the sprouts were mishandled so nobody will repeat that particular mistake again.   However, we will have plenty of money to send a SWAT team to raid an Amish dairy farmer who commits the horrible crime of selling raw milk that makes a handful of pepole sick.  The system protects its own and punishes the sightest infraction by anyone who doesn't want to play along.

 

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 23:06 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

proLiberty

"selling raw milk that makes a handful of pepole sick"

Wow, someone didn't bother to research the diseases found in raw milk.

http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/rawmilk.html

On the public health issues, the CDC group states that, "Abundant evidence has shown that raw milk serves as the source of bacteria that cause outbreaks of disease in humans: in recent years, most frequently salmonellosis and campylobacteriosis. In the investigations of such outbreaks, the epidemiologic evidence, combined with knowledge about the occurrence of specific pathogens in cattle and the isolation of some of these pathogens from raw milk, leaves no doubt that raw milk is a vehicle for disease in humans."

The main symptoms of these infections are cramps, diarrhea and fever, but Salmonella dublin presents a special problem. This relatively rare organism is known to be host-adapted to cattle and is more likely to be identified as being derived from raw milk than are the more commonly isolated types of Salmonellae. The authors note that, "Numerous studies in multiple locations have confirmed the role of raw milk in the transmission of S. dublin to humans...S. Dublin infections are of particular concern because the associated illness tends to be severe" —and is not limited to the digestive tract.

At the FDA hearing, Dr. Potter added that, "From 1980 to 1983, 53% of the foodborne outbreaks of Campylobacter reported to CDC were associated with drinking unpasteurized milk. The reported rate of isolates identified is 20 times greater in states that permit the sale of unpasteurized milk." According to CDC, outbreaks of campylobacteriosis associated with raw milk consumption have been reported recently in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Maine, Oregon and Pennsylvania.

Michael Osterholm, M.D., Minnesota Department of Health epidemiologist, described the investigation of a current mysterious disease outbreak in that state. After months of investigation, in which 94 families have been contacted, the investigators know only this: The causative agent has not been identified, but the method of transmission is undisputed. Unpasteurized milk produced by one dairy had been drunk by all 122 victims during the three weeks before onset. Some have been sick for months. For those under age 18, the median is 76 days' duration. Children have recovered more quickly than adults, but only 11 (9%) have fully recovered. The producing dairy has voluntarily stopped selling raw milk products.

"All cases of which we are aware are associated with raw milk consumption, and there have been no new cases since the implicated milk product was withdrawn," said Dr. Osterholm. "This is no S. campylobacter. It is not a virus or a fungus. It stumps the best experts."

Raw milk's growing popularity as a "supposed health food" is of concern to the American Academy of Pediatrics, said another witness, John Bolton, M.D., a San Francisco pediatrician. The Academy "has reviewed both the nutritional properties and the safety records of raw milk and has found that the risks outweigh the benefits," he declared. "There are no benefits of raw milk that would outweigh the extreme risk of infection that sometimes follows feeding raw milk products to infants, children with malignancies, and children with problems involving the immune system."

He said that, since 1977, 192 isolates of Salmonella have been made in certified raw milk in California. This milk is also transported across state lines by distributors. According to Dr. Bolton, "The most recent finding on September 28, 1984, involved 4,000 gallons of certified raw milk distributed to consumers and retail outlets." Press reports prior to the hearing indicate that California health officials had recalled Alta-Dena's raw milk products 17 times since 1977 because state tests found S. dublin in samples. The incident referred to by Dr. Bolton occurred just hours before Gov. George Deukmejian vetoed a controversial bill that would have freed the dairy from control by state regulatory agencies. The bill would have allowed the sale of CRM shown by state labs to harbor salmonellae. Another recall involving Alta-Dena and two other California dairies has occurred since the FDA hearing.

Dr. Bolton exhibited a chart which analyzed the 123 cases of S. dublin reported in California in 1983. It showed 51 patients who used raw milk, including 44 who used it from Alta-Dena. Only 10 of the 51 had been exposed to such other possible sources of S. dublin infection as raw eggs or raw or rare meat. The list of pre-existing diseases in these patients "reads like the index to a pathology textbook: cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, cirrhosis, lupus, AIDS, etc.," he said. "This points out one of the most tragic aspects of this problem. Seriously ill patients purchase a so-called 'health food' only to be exposed to S. dublin. Raw milk is even advertised as a basic food for invalids."

In response to certified raw milk producers' claim that the product is made safe by the practice of spraying the udders of the cattle with an antiseptic solution and then using two clean towels to wipe off, Dr. Bolton stated categorically that, "Potentially harmful bacteria still reside on the udders and inside some of the cattle as well."

Advocates of raw milk consumption point to other foods such as poultry which are frequently contaminated with Salmonellae. "What they fail to point out," said Dr. Bolton, "is that these foods are intended to be cooked before consumption. Heat destroys Salmonellae. Pasteurization, heat treatment of milk, is the only way to assure safe milk supplies." Referring to the statistical analysis of Salmonella illnesses cited by Congressman Dannemeyer, Dr. Bolton called it "creative." Literature distributed by Alta-Dena shows that the figure of "3.6 million cases between 1971 and 1982" was derived by multiplying the number of all types of Salmonella infections reported annually (3,000) by 12 years and again by 100, "since some say that only 1 out of 100 Salmonella cases are ever detected/reported." However, the number of S. dublin cases connected with raw milk consumption was given as the actual number reported (103), not the 10,300 which would result from multiplying this figure by 100.

According to state health officials, the fact that the number of S. dublin cases in California is not larger "relates to the fact that the population that drinks CRM is very small and that contamination of CRM appears to be intermittent." In its March 30, 1984 morbidity report, the Infectious Disease Section of the California Department of Health Services estimates that S. dublin infections are 158 times more likely in CRM users than in non-CRM users.

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 21:13 | Link to Comment masterinchancery
masterinchancery's picture

Yes, and after the UN has found that unpasteurized milk is healthier than the heat treated variety being pushed by the FDA.

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 20:57 | Link to Comment boiltherich
boiltherich's picture

I didn't grow 20 million bushels of corn last year and I still havn't gotten my government check for 5 million bucks, man am I steamed.

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 19:50 | Link to Comment Coldfire
Coldfire's picture

What parts of the Constitution authorize these handouts? Oh yeah, none. Ag fascism uber alles.

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 19:32 | Link to Comment Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

Maybe the USDA will pay me to grow pot in my back yard so some other agency can come and bust me in the Autumn!

That's a "shovel ready" plan to keep a bunch of fools glued to the guvment tit.

USA!  USA!  USA!  go team!!!

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 19:59 | Link to Comment Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Get a state certificate to provide medical marijuana to state licensed dispensaries. The feds will take care of the rest for you.

Glad I could help.

 

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 21:14 | Link to Comment Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

Good weed "to state licensed dispensaries"?

That's drug abuse.

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 19:27 | Link to Comment Nobody
Nobody's picture

I'll back sodbuster as another farmer on this issue.
Food stamps is the number 1 expense item in the farm bill.
The direct payment to farmers is going the way of the dodo in the next bill, which has no relation to the budget bill passing.
Crop insurance will take its place (which is a joke, but whatever).
Farmers' price of their land and commodities are just reflecting the current inflation today no more no less.
We buy retail and sell wholesale. Try running a business under those terms.

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 19:58 | Link to Comment Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

 

We buy retail and sell wholesale. Try running a business under those terms.

It's Googlenomics!

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 18:57 | Link to Comment mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Inevitable with two senators per state and agriculture the biggest industry in more than a dozen of them. That's how politics works.

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 19:57 | Link to Comment Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

So true. Buy a few senators who head committees and "befriend" the top couple of tools at each regional USDA office and you're suddenly a food mogul.

And the bitch is that even the few underlings at these places who find problems and actually try to protect us poor muppets are told to STFU and stop making trouble.

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 23:32 | Link to Comment sodbuster
sodbuster's picture

Bear in mind, the USDA is your typical fed agency, being run by the very big business it is supposed to be regulating. The agency directors and under secretaries are chocked full of people that used to work for the big food and chemical companies. Why do you people act so surprised? EVERY agency in our government is run by corporate people. From healthcare, to ag, to banking, dept of energy and the nuclear power plants- those agencies are filled with people from those industries. Insanity is doing the same things over and expecting different results. Dream on people, nothing will change.

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 16:20 | Link to Comment sodbuster
sodbuster's picture

Of the total ag budget, actual working farmers receive about 17% of that budget. Food stamps, school lunch, nutrition programs make up the rest- another words- Joe Welfare. Go ahead, cut away, it's not worth the hassel they put me thru to get a check antmore.

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 21:29 | Link to Comment boiltherich
boiltherich's picture

Sod, that is Mr. Welfare to you if you please, I may be on food stamps but I demand to be treated with respect.

Oh dear, did we waste government money on poor people? So that those rat bastards can eat when we all know they all can stand to lose some weight.

I have a scoop for you, the 50 million people collecting such payments and supplements from USDA are about half of those that could or should be collecting because there are at least 100 million victims of crony capitalism in the nation. People who through NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN are so close to or well below dire poverty they go hungry. But when I see bankers in private jets spending more on high thread count sheets than a working person makes on minimum wage in a year, or politicians spending our money on junkets, or K Street bribesters eating smoked salmon and caviar on sliced dolphin in the back of their chamfered limousines, if we even are lucky enough to have a job at any wage then I say you who so hate the poor are the biggest part of the problem. You are attacking the wrong people.

Actually I am not on food stamps, but I am a disabled vet as most of you know. Still, my income is fixed, and why they call it that when I never saw anything more broke in my life I swear I can't say. But it is just enough that I do not qualify for any type of government "help," not with housing, food, transportation, anything. And I would not mind, I would not bitch, except that the value of my transfer payments has dropped by at least 40% since 2008. Nobody came out and said "hey Mark, we are in a tight spot what with having to give those bankers trillions and now the eurozone needs trillions, and if we don't cut hard the Magic Underpants people will get into office and that would be even worse for you."

I would have at least felt better if someone somewhere had been honest about it all. Food up 40% since 2008 (80% for meat). Fuel up more than 40%. Cable ditto. Rent also about 40%. Government COLA = up 3.5% and that was this January, it was the first we got since the COLA increase announced in 2008. If someone had just said we need to take a third or more of your income to give it to the 1% and/or a "temporary" payroll tax cut to the working middle class so they won't be so mad in November, you know, just don't treat people like they are stupid, well I would not be so mad. And I am mad. But I know that there is zero outlet for that anger in the USA now, not politically, that is a JOKE! Not economically, you think the Fed is out of ammo you should see the lower half of the population.

For me it all boils down to income inequality. It has gotten so distorted and so obscene that it will not be more than a matter of months before we have the type of unrest that destroys all. You who do not like socialism or EEEKKKK communism better get ready, because in every case of income inequality this bad one of two things has happened, dictatorship or war.

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 23:19 | Link to Comment sodbuster
sodbuster's picture

BTR- I share your frustration with the wealthy- but I don't begrudge a person his wealth or hate them because they are rich- but I DO get pissed when the rules are weighted in their favor, and no, the bankers should not be bailed out- most of those fkr's belong in jail. I have a problem with the 5th and 6th generation unemployed. They have never worked, and never intend to work!! They think getting a government check, IS a job and a profession! As far as I'm concerned- we owe them nothing!! When will these people EVER learn to be self- reliant? NEVER! They are just as bad as the banker crooks. Can we help the disabled, the needy, the handicapped? Of course we can. But, does the government( i.e. taxpayers) owe the chronic worthless, lazy, perpetual unemployed masses any more than they do the bankers, or anybody else? This all started when the people of this nation let their elected reps vote to take money from the public treasury- for some "good" cause, no doubt. It's ironic- recently received this email..........

The food stamp program, part of the Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of food stamps ever.

Meanwhile, the Park Service, also part of the Department of Agriculture, asks us to "please do not feed the animals" because the animals may grow dependent and not learn to take care of themselves.

Note: the Park Service is Not  part of the USDA- the US Forestry Service is. But the point is well taken.

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 23:10 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

boiltherich

I have family in the same boat.

You forgot to include rising property taxes and insurance premiums.

One relative had their mortgage jump from 550 to over 700 for the reasons I named.

Yet a number of douchebags here think everyone on a fixed income is an undeserving welfare queen who chooses the lavish lifestyle embodied in a fixed income.


Sun, 05/27/2012 - 16:35 | Link to Comment tgatliff
tgatliff's picture

Also, apparently Tyson, which is one of the largest food producers is one of those "big bad" companies that the clowns want to villify, but oddly enough their market cap is only $7.06 Billion with a PE of 11.  Jamie Dimon looses several multiples of this amount by his pet "hedging" projects....

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 21:20 | Link to Comment world_debt_slave
world_debt_slave's picture

keep your hands off my stack, jack

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 14:59 | Link to Comment onlooker
onlooker's picture

 

Snap, which I guess is food stamps is at high point and growing. The cost of farming and producing is going up with fuel, chemicals, fertilizer, parts, equipment, seeds, etc. So the cost of Snap will continue to rise.

 

From what I read and hear, farming this year was good for some parts of the Nation. Texas and Oklahoma had a bad year and the current weather looks like another bad year. A 5 year bad weather pattern was predicted. Cattle, wheat, cotton, and corn could have another bad year. We sold off half of our cattle last year and if the weather continues bad, will sell off the rest this year. With fewer cattlemen, beef prices rise. I am not covered by a USDA program. Bad weather equals higher prices and at some point reduced availability/shortage.

 

The farmer depends upon the government for information for food production and this is a fairly competent government group, based upon my interaction with them.

 

Illness and death due to food can not be attributed solely to the Feds. Orange County California which has a large population has two health inspectors for food operations (based upon what I consider good information). Budget cuts may be involved. You can not have proper inspection with two people with this large population. This is a local (get the Feds out of our business) program.

 

So in the LBJ type quest for guns and butter, butter got a problem. On the ammo side of the guns situation, remember the price of copper and lead and powder are all higher. And, with the Europe melt down, help and support for more and more war decreases.

 

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 19:52 | Link to Comment Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

 

Illness and death due to food can not be attributed solely to the Feds.

So true. Let's not forget the stuff in the fridge that's well outside of FDA oversight. Like the chili from a couple of weeks ago. Or that chunk of meat that's growing grey fuzz all over it. Or the potato salad that sat in the car for an hour before the picnic before it finally got into the ice chest.

People are poisoning themselves accidentally every day.They don't even need generous government help for that.

And that's not to excuse the rancid shit that comes from the supermarket that wasn't within the tiny percentage of inspectable food that was actually inspected.


Sun, 05/27/2012 - 14:26 | Link to Comment onlooker
onlooker's picture
USDA Programs and Services Broadband

This program is designed to provide loans for funding, on a technology neutral basis, for the costs of construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities and equipment to provide broadband service to eligible rural communities.

Grants and Loans

 

Disaster Assistance

Natural disaster is a constant threat to America's farmers and ranchers and rural residents. USDA provides assistance for losses that result from drought, flood, fire, freeze, tornadoes, pest infestation, and other calamities.

Insurance Programs

To help users better understand crop and livestock insurance, USDA provides critical tools and policy and reinsurance agreement information and details the insurance cycle from the application process to the claims process.

Restoration and Conservation

Conservation programs within USDA assist owners of America's private land with conserving their soil, water, and other natural resources. Certain programs also provide financial assistance for agricultural producers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters and pests.

Environmental Markets

The Office of Environmental Markets (OEM) supports the Secretary in the development of emerging markets for carbon sequestration, water quality, wetlands, biodiversity, and other ecosystem services. OEM was established in response to the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, America's Farm Bill.

Water Resources

 

Wildfire Prevention

The Forest Service manages wildland fire to protect human life, welfare, and property. The Agency also manages wildland fire to restore and maintain the health of ecosystems on which Americans depend for clean water, oxygen, carbon sequestration, recreation, forest products, biodiversity, beauty, and other resource benefits.

SNAP

SNAP helps put food on the table for some 31 million people per month in FY 2009. It provides low-income households with electronic benefits they can use like cash at most grocery stores. SNAP is the cornerstone of the Federal food assistance programs, and provides crucial support to needy households and to those making the transition from welfare to work.

WIC

WIC provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Child Nutrition Programs

USDA announced a proposed rule that would increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat fluid milk in school meals; and reduce the levels of sodium and saturated fat in meals. Implementation of this proposed rule would result in more nutritious school meals and help improve the nutrition and health of children across the country.

Organic Program

USDA's National Organic Program regulates the standards for any farm, wild crop harvesting, or handling operation that wants to sell an agricultural product as organically produced.

Food Security

USDA conducts and provides research on food security and hunger in U.S. households and communities. This research facilitates informed public debate regarding food security, and its impact on the well-being of children, adults, families, and communities, as well as its relationship to public policies, public assistance programs, and the economy.

Importing Goods

While foreign regulatory systems need not be identical to the U.S. system, they must employ equivalent sanitary and health measures that provide the same level of protection achieved domestically for imported goods.

Exporting Goods

To promote and assist exportation, USDA offers a variety of valuable tools, services, policies and research to assist new and experienced exporters in all the stages necessary for getting their product out to their desired market.

Economic Research

The Economic Research Service is a primary source of economic information and research in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ERS conducts a research program to inform public and private decision making on economic and policy issues involving food, farming, natural resources, and rural development.

Agricultural Research

Advances in agricultural productivity have led to abundant and affordable food and fiber throughout most of the developed world. The major goals of this ERS research program are to quantify productivity improvements, and the sources of improvement, and to investigate the direction and efficiency of the public and private sectors in enhancing the stock of agricultural knowledge and in developing new technologies.

Agricultural Statistics

A collection of data, analysis, and statistics from the Economic Research Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, and National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 13:30 | Link to Comment ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Ag. subsidy bubble - just another debt spending bubble courtesy U.S.S.A.

Seems so patriotic - cows and Grandpa on his tractor - but it is now a corporate industry with huge combines and factory farms.

The corporatocracy wing of the kleptoligarchy marches on.

 

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 17:42 | Link to Comment otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

GovThink -taxes on middle class =subsidies to farmers via Dept of Ag=brand spankin' new John Deere(burning 8-10 GALLONS of fuel an HOUR) in every field=JOBS

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 13:14 | Link to Comment wonderatitall
wonderatitall's picture

this country is so corrupt the mafia is having problems keeping up with our democrat ponzie looting scheme...the repubs are just silly and can be dismissed. every city and town is run by the blue model slavery regime that our dog eating racist hatemonger of a furhrer is a part of....if the citizens at the bottom and middle are corrupt why are we so surprised that the leaders of this wreck of a country are?....lets print and steal and burp ourselves into slavery...mr corzine and menendez and schumer the schemer are our masters...

 

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 13:41 | Link to Comment goforgin
goforgin's picture

I got news for you, the Republicans have been a majority party in US since Ronald Reagan, that includes most local and state legislatures. The Democratic party is the opposition party, that is, they only get elected when the public has had enough of Republicans.

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 12:17 | Link to Comment Arnold Ziffel
Arnold Ziffel's picture

Cum'on Bruce...lets give "Mom and Pop" farmers like Monsanto, ComAgra a tax break "incentive"....

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 11:54 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

The majority of the USDA budget is foodstamps.  Cutting the 30% or so of the budget that covers things like crop insurance and subsidies and rural development could only save at most about $50B per year.

If the economy remains this poor, it's going to be the foodstamps that blow out the USDA spending, not the other stuff.

If it's something worth thinking about for more than about a minute, obviously a program that provides price-support through direct purchase and redistribution of food-stuffs would be a lot more EFFICIENT than the EBT swipe-cards, which often end up helping people pay extremely high prices for extremely crappy "food" from our most successful mega-corporations.

Maybe it would suck to lose Little Debbie, but given the prices on that stuff, you'd think it just might be able to compete in the market of junkfood.  Servicemen buy a lot of that crap, anyway.  They should be OK.

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 12:20 | Link to Comment Eireann go Brach
Eireann go Brach's picture

Are you sure that big fat red headed cunt is actually not a cow that escaped from the barn?

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 12:22 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

What a horrible thing to say.  She's just a little girl in a cute straw hat!

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bcw58kA1ySs/TVQnOLb2RTI/AAAAAAAABdo/iG5uhON9us...

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 11:45 | Link to Comment Jim B
Jim B's picture

New headline! Farm subsidies drive AG land value appreciation?

 

I may have to buy some farm land!  LOL

Mon, 05/28/2012 - 05:58 | Link to Comment stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

farm subsidies isn't the main driver of rising AG land.

the main driver is inflation & rising food prices, courtesy of your local federal reserve.

jim rogers has been touting farmland for years, as well as other tangible assets like commodities.

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 11:40 | Link to Comment Hulk
Hulk's picture

We call it the US Da for good reason. It's just a bunch of idiotic, beaurocratic, overpaid, government nincompoops

Read Salatin's "Everything I want to do is illegal"  for a blow by blow account on the dealings with these idiots...

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 19:44 | Link to Comment Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Salatin is brilliant and outspoken. He really understands food and where it comes from. And he explains it so even us city schleppers can get it.

I'm amazed he's not in Camp FEMA yet.

 

Mon, 05/28/2012 - 23:23 | Link to Comment DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

Yeah, Salatin does great work

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 20:17 | Link to Comment CompassionateFascist
CompassionateFascist's picture

That's the next, terminal stage. US family farms since 1960: Ukraine, 1929-33, in slow-motion...inflicted by the selfsame Urban Tribe and its shabbatz goy henchmen.  

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 11:46 | Link to Comment Morrotzo
Morrotzo's picture

Here is that article you mentioned, pretty interesting.

 

http://www.acresusa.com/toolbox/reprints/Salatin_Sept03.pdf

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 23:57 | Link to Comment JeffB
JeffB's picture

Thanks for the heads up guys.

It looks like a great article. I'll keep an eye out for the book as well.

 

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 13:24 | Link to Comment Cant see me
Cant see me's picture

Great Read!

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 12:23 | Link to Comment Confused
Confused's picture

Thanks to both of you. Will check it out. 

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 12:08 | Link to Comment Hulk
Hulk's picture

Thats the article by the same title. I was actually referring to the book, which is a must read for FPF's (future pasture farmers)

Sun, 05/27/2012 - 11:27 | Link to Comment grunk
grunk's picture

Throw in a couple of million for raw milk SWAT teams.

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