In a hearing today before the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Chuck Grassley urged the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to use his authority to make changes to stop the abuse of the farm program which enables 10 percent of the wealthiest farmers to receive 70 percent of the benefit from the farm program.
Grassley asked Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack about the department’s rule making for what’s known as the actively engaged definition.
Grassley fought during the legislative debate on the farm and nutrition bill to limit abuse of farm programs by only allowing one non-farming manager per operation to be eligible for the farm program.
During his questioning, Grassley showed a chart that explained how one entity abuses the farm program. The example was organized as a general partnership with 16 non-farming managers who receive farm payments. The partnership received more than $650,000 in farm payments in 2012 alone.
“The loophole puts small- and medium-sized farms and young and beginning farmers at a disadvantage. Despite being fixed in both the House and Senate bills, the provisions were taken out of the bill by a few members in conference."