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Farm Bill 2012 – What is at stake!

May 16, 2012

As a community activist, I feel obligated to implore you with every fiber of my being to pay attention to the information collected on this blog. While we will keep our word and continue with the “inspirational series addressing parental poverty,” we must also bring attention to information of critical importance to our immediate future.

Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan

At the time of this writing, almost four weeks have expired since congressional leaders released legislation directly affecting the lives of every American. It is called the 2012 Farm Bill. This 900 page document establishes what American farmers choose to plant, choose not to plant or which markets to sell, or not sell, their produce at.  This Bill determines if you have a “Dollar Menu” at McDonald’s, or not; if Coca Cola can bring you Wal-Mart cheap 2 liter sodas, or not; if Lay’s potato chips are in the vending machine at high school, or not.

This monumental piece of legislation is still traveling through the Senate. It was released from Committee on 4/20/2012. Senator Debbie Stabenow, (D-Michigan) proudly displays wide-spread praise for her work on her website. She is Chairwoman of the 19 member Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.

If I were Sen. Stabenow, I might be proud of my work too. Afterall, the 2008 Farm Bill spent  $283 billion over 5 years.  Thanks to its policies American farmers grossed $136.3 billion in 2011. The USDA projects farmers will earn $96 billion in 2012. All this activity helped the American economy by supporting 1 million jobs directly related to producing food.

No wonder comments from grateful farmers dominate Senator Stebanow’s website.

Unfortunately, a completely unacceptable number exist on the Feeding America website.  the number is 20.6 million. It refers to the number of children using free/reduced lunch in the country’s school system.  These children are living in households at, or below, 125% of the poverty line.

Mind you, 1 out of 4 American children are hungry in the midst of a country wealthy enough to give President Obama $15 million in one night at George Clooney’s house.  Between October  1 – December 31, 2011 some 583,000 citizens donated to the Commander-in-Chief for a total of $42 million. The Democratic National Committee raised $24 million for the re-election.

All this money leads me to believe that a lot of currency is still flowing through our economy, which makes the arguments surrounding the Farm Bill – like some $33 billion in cuts to food stamps – appear to be more p.r. tricks than serious politics. If there is one thing the political process cannot play with it is the food production of the nation.

We have no intention of allowing the political process to play partisian tricks with our nation’s food supply. Please return to our blog on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 to learn 1) how much money is at stake with the Farm Bill, 2) the cuts being proposed and 3) how this affects the 10 biggest States using food stamps.

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