Agriculture is a real business, needs real help
Agriculture in Mississippi is an almost after thought these days in Washington.
Despite the fact that Mississippi farmers lost nearly $500 million last year because of torrential rains and floods, policy makers in Washington do not feel the need to provide aid.
In an exclusive story in today’s Mississippi Business Journal, the agriculture relief backers in the Senate, including the bill’s co-sponsors Cochran, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), attached disaster assistance for farmers of $1.5 billion on the jobs bill, which had gained wide bipartisan support and the backing of President Barack Obama.
However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) unexpectedly quashed the legislation. Reid said he wanted a trimmed bill to “keep at bay criticism that the Senate was producing yet more legislation loaded with special deals.”
We understand they need to keep “pork” projects to a minimum.
What we don’t understand is why the Mississippi farmers must take a back seat to other legislation.
Why can’t agriculture aid stand on its own?
As a gauge of the magnitude of the disaster, in Nov. 2009 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) declared 79 of Mississippi’s 82 counties disaster areas. The U.S. Small Business Administration would subsequently make available economic injury disaster loans to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private nonprofits of all sizes in all 82 counties.
While,Sen. Reid is worried about his image, dozens if not hundreds of Mississippi farmers may not be able to afford to plant a crop this spring.
These are real problems and real people in Mississippi, and agriculture is a real industry and a real business, whether any politicians want to admit it or not.
To sign up for Mississippi Business Daily Updates, click here.
FOLLOW THE MBJ ON TWITTERMy Tweets
Top Posts & Pages
- GreenTech holds grand opening of neighborhood electric vehicle plant
- NEW IN MADISON COUNTY — Mississippi Bio-Medical Business Collaboratory to be introduced Friday
- Turner Grain’s transition will help consolidate lawsuits alleging breach of contract
- Mississippi Film Studios signs contract with New Orleans company
- Granddaughter of Barq's Root Beer founder dies at 90
- MDOT cutting more than 40 jobs in Right-of-Way Division
- Mars Food expanding Delta plant; investing $31M and adding jobs
- Board authorizes sale of company that owns Silver Slipper Casino
- David Duval, former British Open winner, joins Sanderson Farms field
- JRA plans image makeover, hires crisis manager