Members of Wisconsin's Congressional delegation are pushing to protect conservation funding in the latest version of the federal farm bill.
Farm bill negotiators have proposed cutting nearly a billion dollars in conservation spending, in order to help boost subsidy programs. U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) says there's room for reform in the farm bill, but it should not come out of conservation programs. Ryan says those are already under-funded to the point where many farmers are rejected.
Ryan says the cuts would only be used increases subsidies to millionaire farmers who already cash in under the current system. Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind (D-WI) says negotiators should instead be looking at common sense reforms to subsidy programs. Ryan and Kind say the farm bill should be changed to cap subsidy payments, limit which farmers can receive them, and reform crop insurance policies.
As Congress gets closer to taking action on the measure, Kind believes reforms are still possible that will protect farmers and taxpayers.