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By Cora Fox
Center for Rural Affairs 

Abuse of farm safety net harms rural America


Each year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) makes billions of dollars in payments to farmers across the country. Farmers rely on this money as part of a safety net, which helps them mitigate risks involved with working in agriculture. Congress put in place common-sense limits on farm program payments, but left damaging loopholes.

Currently, farmers are required to be actively engaged in farming to receive these payments. “Actively engaged” farmers should be on the farm or in the tractor, as well as investing in land, equipment, or providing capital for the farming operation.


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