For example, if the target price of corn is $1 a bushel, and farmers are selling it at the market price of $.50, Congress covers the difference of $.50 per bushel through a direct payment. This type of program has been used for many years and is the current program under the 2002 farm bill. Limits: For reasons of space, time, and relevance there will be several issues I will not be examining. For example, this paper will not focus on the impact that importing foreign crops and goods have on our agricultural
Sample Paper 5 system. The scope of this paper will limit itself to the issue of this nation’s production of agriculture, not other nations. I will also not examine any ethical or health-related issues that occur in the manufacturing or processing of meat or dairy products. There could be a whole paper written alone on just the treatment of dairy and beef cattle, but I will mainly be focusing on crops that are grown from the ground up, and not animals. Furthermore, I will not delve into the controversy surrounding genetically altered crops. This debate has gone on for a long time, but does not bear much importance on this actual legislation in question. History (note multiple sources): To fully understand an issue, it must be placed in full historical context in order to see where it is coming from and also to see where it is going. The farm bill is not a new piece of legislation and has undergone hundreds of variations throughout its complex history. In 1929, The Great Depression brought a time of great hardship to all Americans, especially farmers. “One out of every four Americans lived on a farm, but between 1929 and 1932 gross farm income dropped 52%” (Cain and Lovejoy 1). Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected in 1933 and promised “definite efforts to raise the values of agricultural products” (Cain and Lovejoy 1). The FDR administration, “under the leadership of Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace, produced the first farm bill: the 1933 Agricultural Adjustment Act” (Cain and Lovejoy 1). The effect of the first farm bill was quickly apparent. “By providing rural Americans with funding in the late 1930s, the administration was able to
Sample Paper 6 increase the quality of life and economic security that was shattered by the Great Depression.” (Cain and Lovejoy 2). The Franklin D. Roosevelt administration helped bring an end to farm poverty through a variety of agricultural policies, including several New Deal programs and subsequently, small farms declined rapidly (Barlett 49). The 1940s were marked as a time of adversity and perseverance because of World War II. However, the war actually promoted a sharp acceleration of economic growth. As the decade progressed towards the start of the war, “agriculture, just as the rest of the economy, geared up to support the war effort” (Knutson, Penn, and Boehm 216). As a result of all the increased efforts of production, “high demand led to higher prices, and the government developed great surpluses to ensure national security” (Cain and Lovejoy 2). The surplus of agricultural goods made America a
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- Spring '09