The high cost of political help


July has been a tough month for farmers and ranchers in The Washington Post.
On July 2 and again July 18, The Post published lengthy investigative pieces on the enormous cost, wanton waste, and built-in silliness of today’s federal farm programs.
The page one headlines of each related the worst-kept secrets of Capitol Hill policy makers and U.S. food producers alike. “Farm Program Pays $1.3 Billion to People Who Don’t Farm,” announced the July 2 piece. “No Drought Required For Federal Drought Aid,” blared the later story.
Each then went on (and on and

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Alan Guebert was raised on an 800-acre, 100-cow southern Illinois dairy farm. After graduation from the University of Illinois in 1980, he served as a writer and editor at Professional Farmers of America, Successful Farming magazine and Farm Journal magazine. His syndicated agricultural column, The Farm and Food File, began in June, 1993, and now appears weekly in more than 70 publications throughout the U.S. and Canada. He and spouse Catherine, a social worker, have two adult children.