A study finds voters in three farm states support the limiting of federal farm payments to 250-thousand dollars. The Kellogg Foundation poll finds voters polled in Iowa, Minnesota and Kansas favor capping the direct subsidy payments to single farms by a margin of more than two-to-one. Chuck Hassebrook (HASS-ah-brook) is executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs, based in Lyons, Nebraska. Hassebrook says it was interesting that the support for capping payments to big farms was strongest among farmers. He says it’s not a surprise because it’s the family farms that are “damaged” by the big payments. Hassebrook says the most effective thing Congress could do to help strengthen family farms is to stop subsidizing mega-farms and putting smaller operations out of business. When U-S lawmakers reconvene in September, they’ll have to decide how to cut three-BILLION dollars from the U-S-D-A budget. Hassebrook says Iowans will play a central role in the process. Representative Jim Nussle chairs the House Budget Committee and will be a prominent player, while Senators Tom Harkin and Chuck Grassley and Representatives Leonard Boswell and Steve King are both on the Ag Committees. Hassebrook says Iowa’s citizens need to make their voices heard to our elected leaders on the issue. He says it appears the Senate, led by Grassley, is leaning toward limiting the payments. The House is moving toward cutting rural development, conservation, nutrition and commodity programs. Hassebrook says Iowa’s other congressional representatives seem undecided on the issue and he urges Iowans to contact them.
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