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Ag Bills and Securing Our Future

Ag Bills and Securing Our Future

Why Our Government Should Fund Agriculture to Secure a Brighter Future

Pop history quiz: What are the nine most terrifying words in the English language?

President Ronald Reagan answered that question while giving a speech at the Illinois State Fair in August of 1986:

“I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help.”

This is especially true for ranchers and farmers—and something President Reagan understood as a rancher himself. And it was a topic he discussed frequently with his top aide (and Pete’s father) William P. Clark, Jr.

“A great many of the current problems on the farm were caused by government-imposed embargoes and inflation, not to mention government's long history of conflicting and haphazard policies,” President Reagan said in his 1986 speech.

“Our ultimate goal, of course, is economic independence for agriculture, and through steps like the tax reform bill, we seek to return farming to real farmers. But until we make that transition, the Government must act compassionately and responsibly. 

“In order to see farmers through these tough times, our administration has committed record amounts of assistance, spending more in this year alone than any previous administration spent during its entire tenure.”

And now history has repeated itself, mirroring those tough times President Reagan mentioned in 1986. Inflation, high fuel prices, extreme weather conditions, contentious water rights, and labor shortages have had a profound impact on our nation’s ranching and farming families.

This economic and agricultural crisis has triggered record spending from first the Trump administration and now the Biden administration in the forms of COVID relief funding, The Farm Bill, the Inflation Reduction Act , and more robust USDA programs.

The next farm bill, expected to be drafted and enacted in 2025, is projected to cost taxpayers $1.5 trillion over 10 years. Farm Bill proponents argue that more money is needed to strengthen our country’s food and farming sector. However, critics say an excessive amount of funding is allocated to large-scale farms specializing in commodity crops, whereas smaller and medium-sized producers receive significantly less assistance.

However, as we know from President Reagan’s words, achieving economic independence for agriculture is critical to America’s success. Agriculture is the backbone of our country, providing food, jobs, and economic stability. In order to ensure the continued success and sustainability of agriculture, it’s essential for our government to fund and support the industry. Here are some of the top reasons why government funding for agriculture is crucial:

Food Production and Security

One of the primary reasons government funding for agriculture is important is that it ensures ample food production and security. By investing in agricultural research, infrastructure, and technology, government can help farmers increase their productivity and efficiency. This in turn supports a steady and reliable food supply for our population, reducing the risk of food shortages and insecurity.

Economic Vitality and Jobs

Agriculture plays a significant role in our economy, providing jobs and income for millions of people across the country. Government funding for agriculture helps support farmers, ranchers, and agricultural businesses, creating a stable and thriving industry that contributes to economic growth. Additionally, investments in agriculture can lead to the development of new markets, products, and technologies that can further stimulate economic activity and innovation.

Land and Lifestyle Preservation

Government funding for agriculture is also important for the preservation of land and rural lifestyles. By supporting sustainable farming practices and conservation efforts, governments can help protect valuable natural resources and ensure the long-term viability of agricultural land. Additionally, funding for agriculture can help to preserve traditional farming communities and ways of life, preserving cultural heritage and rural economies.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, government funding for agriculture is essential for ensuring food security, promoting economic vitality, and preserving land and lifestyles. By investing in the agricultural industry, our government can help secure a sustainable future for farming and ensure the well-being of current and future generations.

In our next blog (coming June 2024), we’ll explore some of the USDA’s top funding programs and how they can benefit landowners.

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