In a stunning reversal, a group of farm groups and rural voters are urging President Donald Trump to reconsider his plan to abolish the federal farm subsidy.
The group, the Rural Economy Council, said the move will have “grave consequences for farm and rural communities across the country” and “will not only result in a significant reduction in the amount of cash payments and other farm assistance, but will have the potential to affect rural communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.”
The group is working with a coalition of other groups that are also pushing the administration to reverse the move.
“Farmers and their allies in Congress are committed to protecting our food security and protecting our rural communities,” REC President Greg Fitzsimmons said in a statement.
“It is important that President Trump reverse this move and restore the farm subsidy to the same levels it was in 2012, which is a key part of keeping America’s economy competitive.”
Fitzsimons, who is also an agriculture economist at the University of Texas at Austin, said he expects that the farm subsidies are “the most effective tool to promote economic growth and economic security” for rural communities.
“With the farm assistance program under threat, we have a responsibility to help farmers grow, and the best way to do that is to invest in the kinds of infrastructure that will help create jobs and economic growth,” he said.
The farm subsidies help fund crop insurance, food stamps, food assistance and other assistance for farmers and ranchers.
In 2016, the Agriculture Department projected that the subsidy would be worth $18 billion a year.
The Rural Economy Commission, the group working to repeal the farm program, has said the subsidy is critical for farmers.
“We don’t want to see a farmer die, but we do want to help them continue to grow their business,” RICO Executive Director Karen Tarrant said in an interview.
The Agriculture Department is considering whether to continue to give farm subsidies, but the RICO proposal would also remove the subsidy from all food assistance programs.
“The Rural Economy Act is an important tool to ensure that every American has access to the best farm products and the most nutritious foods available,” Fitzsampons said.
“A number of states and communities are already seeing a benefit to their local economies and communities by using the Farm Security Tax Credit to help support agricultural production.”
The farm program is a federal program that provides a $25 per-acre subsidy to farmers for crops like corn, soybeans and cotton, which are grown in many states.
The subsidies are available to farmers and their families.
About 4 million people received a subsidy last year.
“As a farm, I want to support my family.
I want my kids to grow up to be successful farmers and I want the world to know I supported them,” said Mary Ann Sondheim, a 62-year-old retiree in northern Michigan who received a $7,000 farm subsidy in 2014.
“But now that the [farm program] is being eliminated, that’s a huge change.”
Sondheimer, who works as a certified crop inspector, said that with the crop subsidy, “I don’t feel I need the help from the government anymore.
I don’t need to go to the store to buy food.”
In addition to the farm payments, the REC proposal would eliminate the subsidies from other farm programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides food stamps to poor Americans, as well as the Supplemental Security Income program, which provides cash benefits for the elderly and disabled.
“If you’re a single mom who is raising kids on your own, I don, I think, think that you should be able to make ends meet on your income,” Sondimore said.
Sondham said she and her husband have been trying to find jobs, but have been unable to find a good job in the last year due to the changes to the subsidy program.
She said that the change would put her in a “double bind” because she needs to get food for her kids to eat.
“I’m trying to get my kids off welfare and then to stay on welfare to feed my kids, but it’s hard to find food for them,” she said.
The farm subsidy program is an integral part of the federal Farm Security Act, which was passed in 2013 and expanded to include SNAP in 2015.
Under the Farm Bill, the federal government provides up to $7 billion in farm subsidies per year.
A number of lawmakers have called for the Farm Service Agency, which administers SNAP, to return the program to its 2012 levels.
The SNAP program provides cash cash benefits to low-income families and children and also pays for meals for the poor.
Critics of the program say it was intended to help farm families with the cost of food, not to help struggling low-wage farm workers, who are often out of work.
“This bill was never intended to provide a lifeline to those in the lowest income bracket,” said