WIUM Tristates Public Radio

2014 Farm Bill

file: Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

Many corn and soybean farmers in the Midwest are receiving their first government payments under the new Farm Bill enacted last year, and taxpayers are spending more than projected.

Frank Morris/Harvest Public Media

The U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed changes on Tuesday to the rules that govern which farmers can receive government subsidies.

The goal is to cut off payments to people who claim they’re involved in the management of a farm, but aren’t doing much managing.

How Do You Define What It Means to be a Farmer?

Mar 19, 2015
Grant Wood

How do you define a farmer?

A. A person who does the physical labor to plant a crop.

B. A person who pays for everything it takes to run a farm.

C. A person who owns farmland.

D. All of the above.

It’s a tricky question. For over two decades, the government’s definition of who is an “actively engaged farmer” has been criticized for being too loose and subjective - a loophole allowing farm operations to add investors to their business so they can rake in extra money in farm program payments.

Back from War, On to the Farm

Feb 23, 2015
John Wendle for Harvest Public Media

Sara Creech has grown dependent on farming. She started out planting an orchard of fruit trees - apples, peaches, cherries and pears. She added berry bushes and rows of vegetables.

And then she bought her first chickens.