A Primer for the Next President on Reducing Washington’s Role in Agriculture

The next President should bring attention to the expansive role the federal government plays in agriculture, well before the next farm bill is introduced. Farmers in America receive a seemingly endless array of subsidies. These subsidies have little to do with helping struggling farmers, but are instead mostly provided to large agribusinesses. When the government intervenes through agricultural subsidies, farmers are acting, not in response to the market, but in response to the subsidies. Subsidies create serious harm, including hurting farmers by crowding out private solutions to help manage risk and undermining free trade. Consequently, there is a need for a strong, proactive agricultural agenda that is based on principles of free enterprise and economic freedom, not harmful government intervention. The focus should be on how the government makes it more difficult for farmers and ranchers to manage risk and run their operations.

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