PNS Daily Newscast - November 13, 2019 

Public impeachment hearings in Washington; dreamers protest in Texas; roadless wilderness areas possibly at risk around the country; and an ozone indicating garden, at the North Carolina Governor's Mansion.

2020Talks - November 13, 2019 

Supreme Court hears DACA arguments, and likely will side with the Trump administration, but doesn't take up a gun manufacturer's appeal. Former SC Gov. Mark Sanford drops out of presidential race; and former President Jimmy Carter recovers from brain surgery.

Daily Newscasts

New Bill Could Be Breath of ‘FRESH’ Air for NM Farmers, Ranchers

October 24, 2007

Washington, D.C. – New Mexico's family farmers could benefit from a "FRESH" approach to farm policy. That's the word from a diverse set of groups supporting the new Farm, Ranch, Energy, Stewardship and Health Act, or "FRESH." Besides help for family farms, the bill includes billions for nutrition, conservation and renewable energy programs.

Jim Lyons with Oxfam America says a "fresh approach" is needed because the new Farm Bill is bloated with subsidies to big farms that don't need the help.

"Subsidies encourage overproduction, they create a glut in markets that lower prices and affect the livelihoods of family farmers, in America and around the world."

John Frydenlund from Citizens Against Government Waste agrees the bill is the best chance for reforming farm policy by phasing out direct payments, which he says benefit mostly large producers at the expense of family farms.

"When these direct payments were originally created back in the 1996 Farm Bill, they were meant to be transition payments that would decline over time, not turned into another entitlement program for the wealthiest farmers."

The FRESH Act suggests moving away from a system of automatic payments, to an insurance-based safety net available to all growers, and ranchers as well. Supporters of the current subsidy program say the payments keep consumer prices low. The Senate Agriculture Committee is set to vote on the new Farm Bill today.

Eric Mack/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - NM