Voters in three farm states (Iowa, Kansas and Minnesota) overwhelmingly support limiting direct federal payments to single farms to no more than $250,000 in a poll released by the Kellogg Foundation today. Voters in these states supported payment limitations by more than a two-to-one margin.
“This polling data demonstrates what we have believed for some time, that effective payment limitations on federal farm programs are not only the best policy alternative, they are overwhelmingly popular in farm states, among farmers and across political lines,” says Chuck Hassebrook, executive director, Center for Rural Affairs.
The poll, conducted by the Kellogg Foundation, shows that voters in all three states oppose across the board cuts commodity programs as well as cuts in USDA rural development programs, nutrition programs and conservation programs, by convincing margins. However, they support limiting direct payments to any single farm to no more than $250,000. Support for limits on single farm payments jumps to 68% among farm households and to 70% among Republicans.
Support for farm program payment limitations enjoyed the most support, 66% among voters in Kansas.
“When Congress reconvenes in September they will face a stark choice, practically and politically. They can cut rural development, conservation, nutrition and commodity programs that benefit family farmers and ranchers; rural communities and disadvantaged children. Or they can choose to limit payments to the nation’s largest farms. Payment limits are a win-win solution because they save money and because reducing subsidies that mega farms use to drive smaller operations out of business is the single most effective thing that Congress can do to strengthen family farms,” says Hassebrook.
“Polling on public policy options is rarely as clear and convincing as in this study. Clearly, this data demonstrates that if our Senators and Representatives stand up for rural America and implement effective payment limitations, rural America will stand with them,” he adds.
Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic and environmental issues.