Farmers let down by support package (4.1M)
By Adam Blum
The farmers of Pueblo, Colorado, have found themselves at the mercy of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s new $500 billion Farm Bill in what they have termed “a victo바카라사이트ry for the powerful.”
The bill cuts $33 million for farmers, and $38 million for the USDA, from the state’s farm subsidy program, a significant step toward slashing subsidies for rural America while still allowing the state to take advantage of the tax credits from the federal farm bill that they rely on.
Pueblo’s Bill 21, a version of the 2015 Farm Bill that Hickenlooper is currently working to pass in his home state of Colorado, includes a provision that will be immediately put to a vote as soon as the state’s 2017 General Assembly convenes in November. Under the amendment, the Farm Bill’s $334 million in cuts would be cut starting with the 2013 fiscal year, which begins in July. The bill’s $33 million in cuts would be extended for two years after 2017 and remain in effect for 15 years starting after 2022.
The bill would also slash $33 million from the agriculture research and development and $42 million from the State Farm Insurance program. Hickenlooper’s decision to move ahead with these cuts was a surprise to several of the state’s farmers.
“We’re not surprised, we’re not surprised at all,” said Pueblo City Councilmember Mike LeMieux. “I would think this would give them an opportunity to talk, and get their thoughts into a better legislative position.”
A new bill passed in March by the state Senate would have capped the farm subsidy program a바카라사이트t $32 million a year beginning in 2018.
Hickenlooper has repeatedly pointed out that he believes farmers are better off in the state’s agricultural economy and wants to make it 바카라more attractive to grow food on their land.
But the loss of $33 million from the program’s $8.1 billion in funding per year is “really disappointing and hurts our ability to grow,” said Steve Bell of the Colorado State University Farm Bureau, who has represented Pueblo. Bell said there are some potential ways to make the savings. He suggested the state could buy equipment or hire a smaller farm to grow the food Hickenlooper is cutting.
The USDA has said it will review the bill to decide what to do next.
In his interview with The Huffington Post, Hickenl