The positives and negatives of the Farm Bill

By Mark Bullion

January 8, 2013 Updated Jan 8, 2013 at 10:46 PM CDT

DUNLAP, Ill -- Congress' extension of the Farm Bill is causing some concern for farmers across the country.

That's because the extension is not a full year; it ends September 30.

However, one local farmer is upset the U.S. even has a farm bill in the first place.

"What I'm against is entitlements for people who don't deserve them, and the entitlement mentality has crept into farming just as it has in other industries, but we used to be an organization that shunned entitlements," said Corn and Soybean Farmer David Menold of Dunlap.

Menold says the problem is that farmers have begun to rely on entitlements rather than their own skills, which he says destroys competition and is not good for the consumer, because consumers have to foot the bill through taxes.

"My attitude is that I was put here on God's green earth to harvest corn from that ground, not to expect cash from the government," said Menold.

Cash from the government can also be a good thing for farmers and consumers. It provides a safety net for farmers including regulations on soil conservation and water quality, ultimately leading to safer crop yields. It also helps the job market through agricultural, energy and climate change research.

Regardless of whether you're for or against it, farm bureau officials are hopeful for a resolution soon.

"After we get by maybe the Easter recess, we can get talks going in both the Senate and the House to have something put together before the August recess," said Illinois Farm Bureau President Philip Nelson.