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Finally, we need to assure that government programs do not create artificial incentives to produce on land that could have detrimental environmental effects. A modern farm safety net should seek to minimize such distortion or have systems in place to mitigate such impacts.
We have a historic opportunity before us. In the midst of our nation’s economic crisis, we have the opportunity to ask fundamental questions that, if answered appropriately, can provide a secure future for our nation and those of us working on farms and ranches.
We’re ready to do our part to craft a smarter farm policy for America that will be responsible to taxpayers and effective in helping farms and ranches remain viable and productive.
Jon Scholl is president of the American Farmland Trust. Garry Niemeyer is president of the National Corn Growers Association. Chandler Goule is vice president of government relations for the National Farmers Union.