November 8, 2008
Obama may bring changes to US agriculture
The face of US agriculture may be altered once Barack Obama assumes office on January 20, 2009.
Obama has repeatedly emphasised the importance of US energy independence, which may see him support domestically-produced biofuels against imports. This may come to be a nightmare to agricultural groups who feel that federal support for biofuels are a key reason for high feed cost, resulting in poor margins for livestock farmers.
Obama is likely to increase agriculture subsidies, according to Dutch agricultural newspaper Agrarisch Dagblad. Being a support of the new farm bill, Obama said the new legislation was not perfect but he supported the part where mainly small farmers get more subsidies from the government.
Though Obama had addressed sustainable and ecological farming, his plans are not fully clear yet, but he is expected to allocate more money for farmers who are interested in farming ecologically.
Lastly, Obama wants more budget for young people who want to pursue an agricultural career, especially when the average farmer age in the US is 55 years old. Plans are expected to become clearer in the next coming months, especially after Obama officially assumes office as the 44th president of the US.