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Letter: Walz was right to oppose new Farm Bill

By Douglas Bauman, Brewster

In his letter attacking our congressman, Tim Walz, Allen Quist showed a flair for hyperbole over truth. 

First, the Farm Bill is not, never has been and never should be a bill for and about farmers alone. The Farm Bill is about something much larger; our nation’s food policy. It is meant to ensure America has a sustainable and stable food supply. There have always been some things in the bill that some people liked and some things some people disliked. Some folks did not like the agricultural subsidies. Some did not like the food assistance to low income families. Some did not like changes that encouraged environmentally friendly farming practices. And of course, there have always been people who liked and supported some or all of these. 

Our nation’s agricultural food policy has always been contentious. But what was remarkable is that until recently, Congress managed to craft compromise bills that both urban and rural legislators of both parties supported. Until now, that is. The Farm Bill today is a victim of the catastrophe that has been our Congress since 2011.

Congressman Walz displayed courage and integrity — something that is now all too rare in members of Congress — when he stood up on the floor of the House and explained why he opposes the current bill. Rep. Walz listed organizations that stand with him in his opposition to the current Farm Bill. The list is impressive. It includes Farm Bureau and Farmer’s Union, the Soybean Growers and the Corn Growers associations, every major farm credit group, rural advocacy groups and most major religious denominations.

Rural Minnesota is lucky to be represented by two extraordinary men in the House of Representatives; Collin Peterson to the north of us, and our own Tim Walz. Let’s hope that their common sense, conciliatory, compromise approach prevails on this issue and all the others facing our nation.