PNS Daily Newscast - April 25, 2019 

The Supreme Court considers U.S. Census citizenship question – we have a pair of reports. Also on the Wednesday rundown: A look at how poor teacher pay and benefits can threaten preschoolers' success. And the Nevada Assembly votes to restore voting rights for people who've served their time in prison.

Daily Newscasts

Plowing a Level Playing Field for NV Farmers

June 13, 2011

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Legislation introduced in Washington, D.C., last week could level the playing field for farmers in Nevada and elsewhere. The Rural America Preservation Act, sponsored by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota), caps certain commodity payments to prevent large-scale and corporate farms from raking in the biggest shares of federal subsidies.

Taylor Reid is with the em>National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. He says large-scale farming operations have the resources, capacity and political connections to maximize subsidy payments, leaving smaller farms at a disadvantage.

"When we're talking about large farms, we're talking about farms that are grossing over half a million dollars a year. When we subsidize on the basis of the amount of produce produced, we disproportionately subsidize those farms that are already making a lot of money."

Those who favor continuing the subsidy programs "as is" say farms of all sizes are being squeezed by higher prices for fuel, land, equipment and fertilizers. But Reid says the subsidies no longer serve farmers the way the programs were intended, and he suggests that they be based on economic need, instead. The legislation would limit the payment amount per farm, preventing large-scale farms from using subsidies to expand their operations.

Reid says tax dollars are subsidizing farms that are already making large profits, at the same time the federal government is making deep cuts to farm programs. Nevada does not reap the benefits of what is sown by corporate farms that export the majority of what they produce, he adds.

"Very little of that money comes back into the local economy. When you have a family farmer, they're buying food at the local grocery, they're contributing on Sunday at their local church, they're buying coffee at the local coffee shop."

The full text of the legislation is available at

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV