THE ECONOMIC PAMPHLETEER: A Farm Bill for the Agriculture We Want
The United States farm bill expires in 2018 and is scheduled to be replaced by new legislation approved by the U.S. Congress and implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA has already announced its farm bill preferences and the legislative principles it hopes will guide the 2018 legislative process (USDA, 2018). Its policy agenda for 2018 seems to be pretty much the same as those for past farm bills—at least for those over the past 50 years. Regardless of whether we like what we have been getting, the USDA apparently plans to give us more of the same.
“We can have any kind of agriculture we want, if we choose the right agricultural policies.” This was a frequent statement of Harold Breimyer, one of the most respected agricultural economists in the U.S. during the last half of the 20th century. He was my professional mentor in that he was an unabashed advocate of traditional family farming. He also continued to be active professionally for as long as he lived—17 years after retiring from the University of Missouri.
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