broadband, not butter cow

posted August 28, 2010

any young farmers want to weigh in on this?

Broadband Trumps Farmer Payments in Rural Aid. By Alan Bjerga – Aug 26, 2010

“Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack knows that Farm Belt protocol requires paying respect to the Butter Cow. During a visit to the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 17, he made the pilgrimage to the 600-pound bovine sculpture carved from pure creamery butter. Now that he is U.S. Agriculture secretary, Vilsack wants to take a chunk out of another sacred cow: $15.4 billion in farm subsidies.

Record federal deficits and changing priorities are spurring President Barack Obama’s administration to redirect who gets rural aid. The government is shifting payments to broadband providers, land-conservation efforts and nutrition programs, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Aug. 30 issue.

To many farmers, the changes seem designed to satisfy organic-food devotees, first lady Michelle Obama’s anti- obesity cause, weekend duck hunters, and small-town Internet users –everyone, that is, except traditional farmers. Kris Luoma, 55, a cattle rancher and crop- insurance salesman visiting the Iowa fair from Arcadia, Nebraska, blames the ignorance of Washington policy makers.”

Finish this article at bloomberg.com