Many farmers and other Americans support the GOP-led House’s push not only to slash food-stamp funding but to remove it from the farm bill. But Barry Flinchbaugh, professor emeritus in agriculture economics at Kansas State University, recently warned against it. “Should nutrition programs be in the farm bill? Yes. You want proof? In the House there are 400 urban districts. There are 35 rural districts. Who needs who? This isn’t rocket science,” Flinchbaugh told the American Bankers Association’s farm bankers conference in Minneapolis, Minn. Ending the legislative merger of food and farm programs championed by former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole also “would mean the end of the USDA as we know it,” Flinchbaugh said. “If it loses nutrition programs, the budget of USDA will be smaller than 100 sub-Cabinet level agencies. Does it matter that agriculture has a seat in the Cabinet room? That’s a no-brainer.”
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