The Future of US Agricultural and Rural Development Policy
- Most of the presidential candidates, including President Donald Trump, support using taxpayer funds to provide direct subsidies to farmers through price support, federal crop insurance, and other farm income safety-net programs. While President Trump has proposed cutting crop insurance subsidies in his annual budgets, he has provided unprecedented levels of ad hoc assistance—as much as $28 billion—to compensate farm owners for losses they might have incurred because of the administration’s trade war with China. Most Democratic candidates would target government farm income safety-net and conservation program outlays more toward small and middle-sized farms and away from large farms. All the Democratic Party candidates considered in this report embrace the broad tenets of the Green New Deal and would support policies to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate change, including public investments in agricultural research programs. President Trump ostensibly opposes all climate change initiatives that could possibly affect job growth in the US.