Golly gee whiz, Gomer! Can you smell Monsanto et al. behind any of
this? Look at the subsidized crops.....think GM.....think
Roundup,,,,,think Monsanto.......sold out yet again in the good old
U$A. Go ahead.....give your money to Monsanto when you use Roundup.
Look where it winds up.
Constance Bowels....... Californicator Deluxe
Nancy Pelosi........ Californicator Deluxor
San Francisco....... .hmmmmmmmmmm!
Golly Sarge.....even I can smell this one.....Bowels, SF
Screw 'em all. They'll be tellin' us next we can't save our own seeds.
Just like in Iraq. And elsewhere.
Doesn't matter, all the effing poison will be in our stuff we try to
keep pure anyway.
Kiss it goodbye.
FB. FFF RaS
Huge Farm Bill Offers More of Same for Agribusiness
by Carolyn Lochhead
WASHINGTON - A prominent San Francisco patron of the arts, Constance
Bowles — heiress of an early California cattle baron, widow of a former
director of UC Berkeley’s Bancroft library and a resident of Pacific
Heights — was the largest recipient of federal cotton subsidies in the
state of California between 2003 and 2005, collecting more than $1.2
million, according to the latest available data.
That is the way U.S. farm programs are designed to work. Five crops —
cotton, corn, wheat, rice and soybeans — received 92 percent of the $21
billion in federal farm payments last year. The biggest payments go to
the biggest farms.
That also is pretty much the way farm programs will continue to work
for the next five years under mammoth legislation scheduled today for a
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco has endorsed the new farm
bill, produced by the House Agriculture Committee to run programs for
the next five years, as a major reform because it limits annual
payments to farmers who earn $1 million a year.
The income limit for a couple would actually be $2 million, because a
husband and wife each could collect.
If the bill becomes law, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says the
cap will affect just 3,100 farmers, assuming they do not use accounting
tactics to reduce their taxable income. Actual payments to farmers
would rise over the five years authorized by the bill. The bill is over
budget, so Democratic leaders propose a $4 billion tax increase on U.S.
subsidiaries of foreign companies to pay for it.
This year’s farm bill has drawn extraordinary attention in the Bay Area
and across the country, where a back-to-the-farm food movement has
attracted such high-profile supporters as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton,
the New York Democrat running for president.
The aim of the advocates is to link farmers directly with consumers to
provide fresher food, including more fruits and vegetables in federal
nutrition programs such as food stamps and school lunches. They contend
that crop subsidies have fueled the industrialization and concentration
of agriculture into giant agribusinesses and contribute to the nation’s
obesity epidemic by encouraging the use of corn sweeteners and
vegetable oils in processed foods.
Pelosi is pushing for a quick House vote this week on the Agriculture
Committee’s bill to give rural Democrats — especially those who won
seats in GOP-dominated districts last year — something to tout when
they return home for the August congressional recess.
Pelosi owes her speakership to those new members. But most California
farmers — and most U.S. farmers — do not grow the five subsidized crops
and do not receive direct payments from the federal government.
California fruit, nut and vegetable growers, who would get research and
marketing aid under the new bill, mostly oppose crop subsidies and did
not seek them.
Economists say the subsidies harm most farmers. That’s because they
lower crop prices, raise land prices and rents, and give subsidized
farmers a financial advantage that has helped drive their neighbors out
of business and keep young farmers from getting started.
Many farmers, and farm state politicians of both parties, oppose large
payments. Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Sen.
Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, all want to limit payments to one-quarter the
size Pelosi has endorsed in the House bill.
“When you say to the biggest farms in the country, ‘The bigger you get,
the more money you get from the government,’ then the farm program
effectively subsidizes the destruction of family farming,” said Chuck
Hassebrook, executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs in
Nebraska. “Most people in rural America think that is bad policy.”
The big payments would continue while prices of subsidized crops are at
or near record highs, fueled by the ethanol boom. The value of this
year’s giant corn crop — which would almost cover the state of
California in acreage — is expected to reach $40 billion.
California’s top subsidy recipient from 2003 to 2005, Bowles, 88, of
San Francisco, collected the $1.2 million in mostly cotton payments
through her family’s 6,000-acre farm, the Bowles Farming Co., in Los
Banos (Merced County). She could not be reached for comment.
Another family member, George “Corky” Bowles, who died in 2005,
collected $1.19 million over the same period. George Bowles once ran
the farm but lived on Telegraph Hill. A collector of rare books and
18th century English porcelain, he served as a director of the San
Francisco Opera and a trustee of the Fine Arts Museums.
The farm is run by Phillip Bowles in San Francisco. Phillip Bowles was
on vacation Tuesday and could not be reached. He told KGO television
last week that he’s no fan of subsidies, but if big cotton growers in
Texas get them, so should he.
“Many of these businesses are getting 20 to 30 to sometimes 40 percent
of their gross revenues directly from the government,” Phillip Bowles
told KGO. “I don’t have a good explanation for that. Somebody else
might, but it beats me.”
Economists say they can find no rationale for the subsidies, which
started in 1933 as temporary aid for small farmers devastated by the
Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Then, a quarter of Americans lived
on farms. Today, less than 1 percent do — so few that the Census Bureau
“The programs are just outdated,” said Daniel Sumner, director of the
UC Agricultural Issues Center and a leading farm economist. “No one can
think of a legitimate reason why we have these farm programs for a
handful of crops in the United States.
“If the best the committee could do is say these payments are to help
people in need, and we’re going to define for farm legislation that
somebody’s in need if the family makes $2 million a year — a million
for the husband and a million for the wife — that’s a little strange.
If these are really welfare programs for the needy, we don’t normally
cut those off at $1 million. It’s more like $20,000.”
Cotton ranks as the No. 1 subsidized crop in California. Federal data
compiled by Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization,
shows that the state’s cotton, rice and dairy farmers received more
than $1 billion in federal support from 2003 to 2005. During the same
period, about $62 million went to farm conservation and environmental
projects in California.
Environmentalists have taken aim at farm subsidies this year because
the farm programs are where the money — and the land — is.
About half of the continental United States is farmland. More than 150
million acres were enrolled in federal farm conservation programs in
2005, according to report by Stanford University’s Woods Institute for
“The environmental implications of U.S agricultural conservation policy
… are enormous,” Craig Cox, director of the Soil and Water Conservation
Society, wrote in the Stanford report.
Farm environmental programs now total $4 billion a year, far
outstripping any other federal funding for private conservation.
Environmentalists would like to see the crop subsidies also go to
“green payments” to induce environmental protection for wildlife
habitat, watersheds and the like.