April 20, 2014

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Final Farm Bill reverses reform
Written by Information submitted   
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 9:07 PM

BY TRACI BRUCKNER

Center for Rural Affairs

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On Feb. 7, President Barack Obama signed the Farm Bill into law in East Lansing, Mich.

The Center for Rural Affairs opposed the final Farm Bill that came out of the Conference Committee because the conference report stripped out bipartisan reforms, which passed both House and Senate, and would have tightened the definition of being “actively engaged” in farming. The current definition has been a loophole that mega-farms use to gain additional payments by defining passive investors as qualified farmers, even though those investors provide no real labor or management on the farm.

Not only did the Conference Committee leaders actually increase farm payment limits from $50,000 to $125,000 for the primary commodity program, they turned aside real reform passed in both House and Senate, to essentially create a commodity program that will provide unlimited payments to mega-farms, no matter how large they get, as long as payments flow to family members.

Conference Committee leaders have tried to lay claim to the mantle of reform. However, this Farm Bill will continue to provide virtually unlimited farm program payments to the nation’s largest and wealthiest farms, which they will use to bid up land costs, drive their smaller neighbors out of business and bar the next generation of farmers from even gaining a foothold in farming. This is not reform, this is smoke and mirrors. We can, we must do better than this.

 
Practice what you preach, Mr. President
Written by Kathleen Parker   
Saturday, February 08, 2014 9:00 PM

WASHINGTON — President Obama gave a lovely speech at the recent National Prayer Breakfast — and one is reluctant to criticize.

But pry my jaw from the floorboards.

Without a hint of irony, the president lamented eroding protections of religious liberty around the world.

Just not, apparently, in America.

 
Working together and fighting for the middle class
Written by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown   
Saturday, February 08, 2014 9:00 PM

BY US SENATOR SHERROD BROWN

 

Middle-class Ohioans have always worked hard and taken responsibility. But for too long, Ohioans have been working harder than ever and barely getting by. In last week’s State of the Union address, the president laid out a plan to grow our economy by growing the middle class. By calling on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage, extend emergency unemployment insurance, train workers for high-growth industries, and pass my bipartisan bill to create a network of manufacturing innovation hubs, the State of the Union address helped focus our attention on what matters: keeping America strong and vibrant for the next generation. And that starts with shoring up the middle class, the foundation on which America’s economic might stands.

 
RIP Uncle Randy
Written by Nancy Spencer   
Saturday, February 08, 2014 9:00 PM

The Spencer family saw the passing of its patriarch this week. We laid Uncle Randy to rest on Friday. He was the eldest of the three Spencer brothers with my father-in-law Max the middle boy and Uncle Norm the baby. Their sister, Vivienne, was gone long before I joined the clan.

 
Letter to the Editor
Written by Information submitted   
Saturday, February 08, 2014 9:00 PM

DEAR EDITOR:

I would like to thank the many snowplow operators from the townships, to the county, to the state. They have worked many hours day and night to make our roads safe. As a school administrator their work is priceless, without them we would have missed several more days of school this year. I, like many other school administrators in the area, thank you. We greatly appreciate your time and effort.

 

Scott Mangas

Superintendent/Elementary Principal

Ottoville Local Schools

 

 
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