Obama Says Farm Bill Benefits Should Be Targeted to Family Farmers
Barack Obama's presidential campaign convened a rural issues summit titled "Real Change for Rural America" in Tama today where Obama and rural policy experts talked about making changes to rural policies â" including the Farm Bill â" that will strengthen rural America and support family farmers.
"It's time to turn the page on a politics that has turned its back on rural America," said Obama. "While you're working hard to strengthen your farms, your families, and your communities, our government is working for big agribusiness. In the last decade, we've handed out $1.3 billion in federal farm money to people who aren't even farmers. We've even got farm money going to Fortune 500 companies."
At one of the summit's policy break-out sessions, Obama heard from Iowans who said too many farm bill subsidies went to wealthy corporate farms and not enough to family farmers. Obama agreed that changes need to be made to the Farm Bill and expressed his support for lowering payment limits and reducing the number of multimillionaires who are eligible for farm bill subsidies.
"It's time for us to make some changes to the Farm Bill so we spend fewer resources subsidizing corporate megafarms and more time and resources supporting family farmers and rural America," said Obama. "Specifically, we should lower the payment limit to $250,000 annually and make sure those payments go to farmers who need them -- not to millionaire farmers who are relying on the American taxpayers to protect their multi-million dollar profits."
Speaking at Tama High School, Obama cited his experience fighting for the interests of rural Illinois communities in the state legislature and the US Senate and vowed to continue that fight as President.