NPR has a good 3 part series on the changing face of farm subsidies in the US and the world. One of the programs discussed, the Conservation Security Program, is one that we applied for this spring. Hopefully we’ll get some good news soon that our stewardship is worth something…we’ll keep you updated.
Farm subsidies are a tricky issue…there’s obvious national security benefits to maintaining a viable farm economy (ask Europe in WWII), but there’s been enough pork, graft, and corruption in the program that now we’re throwing tax dollars at farmers to produce more food than anyone anywhere can possibly eat.
Hopefully this trend towards stewardship payments will continue. Our food can’t get any cheaper (indeed, plan on it becoming more expensive as oil prices continue to rise), and the secondary benefits of clean water alone make these programs a small price to pay.