Ag Policy Blog

Looking at the Presumptive Democratic Nominee's Rural Platform

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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Hillary Clinton claims that if elected president her administration would work to increase productivity and profitability on family farms.

Demonstrating the contrast between the respective presumptive nominees, Clinton's website lists 31 different topics with policy proposals while Donald Trump's website lists seven topics with policy proposals or plans.……

Clinton's environmental proposals likely would not bring any regulatory relief to the next administration that many farmers have clamored for under the Obama administration.

Instead, her policy positions on the environment could continue to lead to greater regulatory battles when it comes to issues such as pesticides and water quality. High in Clinton's policy position to "Fight for Environmental and Climate Justice" on her website is mention of concerns over exposure to pesticides and other chemicals affecting minority communities, which her campaign states, "Simply put, this is environmental racism."…

Focusing on topics such as lead in water and algae blooms, Clinton's campaign calls for tougher Clean Water Act standards and a push to hold companies accountable. Her environmental plan doesn’t touch on topics related to the waters of the U.S. rule.

Regarding rural America, Clinton argues she has a "Plan for a Vibrant Rural America."…

In a list of programs and promises on her website, Clinton's campaign states it would continue to provide commodity payments, crop insurance and disaster programs for "family farm operations that truly need them in challenging times, like when weather-related disasters devastate whole areas of the country."

Several of the items on Clinton's website would need to be created or changed during the drafting of the next farm bill, which is tentatively slated to happen in 2018. While her policy fact sheets highlight increased budgets -- double in many cases -- there's no explanation regarding how that would jibe with congressional budget scoring for legislation or where possible cuts might occur.

Clinton's website also states she would funding for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, which is set at about $20 million annually right now.

The rural policy fact sheet on Clinton's website also states she would continue work on local and regional food systems by doubling funds for the Farmers Market Promotion Program and the Local Food Promotion Program, both of which are funded at about $13 million currently. She would pump up the access to fresh fruits and vegetables for SNAP recipients as well.

In conservation, Clinton states the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, EQIP, would be fully funded. Further, more funding would be set aside for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program.

Clinton also adds she would support agriculture by continuing to push for comprehensive immigration reform.

In infrastructure, Clinton states she would create a national infrastructure bank to improve rural transportation, water and broadband access. In a similar vein, Clinton's policy states her administration would streamline and expand USDA grant programs well.

Clinton also states she would simplify regulations for community banks by reducing red tape for banks under $1 billion in assets.

Clinton also has a detailed agenda on renewable energy and climate change. Regarding clean energy, Clinton states she would strengthen the Renewable Fuels Standard so it focuses on advanced cellulosic fuels and higher ethanol blends. Clinton would also launch a "clean energy challenge" to improve incentives for renewable energy that includes "the twin goals of having more than half a billion solar panels installed" by the end of her first term while producing enough renewable energy to power every home in the country in 10 years.

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Jay Mcginnis
6/9/2016 | 7:13 PM CDT
Must be hard being in the party of dirty air and dirty water, you need to make sure the 1% get even wealthier by backing an arrogant, spoiled, racist, sociapath billionaire who aspires to be the first US tyrant! Too bad Trump U is defunct you could get a degree!
6/8/2016 | 10:42 AM CDT
Would it not be the thing to do first, is, define a family farm? An acre of land and a hoe doesn't do it this day and age.
6/8/2016 | 8:41 AM CDT
Nice to know she wants to spend all this money we don't have. But really, I think this will end up just like Obama promised in 2008, when he was first running, that he was going to straighten out the VA. Then he was surprised, six years later, that there really were problems with the VA and we are still waiting for a resolution.