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January 24, 2020

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Family Farms and Agricultural Subsidies
Last Featured: 2/12/2007

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Over the next decade, Congress is likely to set international trade and environmental policies that dramatically affect the U.S. agricultural industry and is poised to authorize at least $171 billion in farm subsidies. But many questions arise about who gets these governmental bailouts—the small family farmer or large agribusinesses run by Fortune 500 companies. Should taxpayers be subsidizing farming at all or should world markets control food production? Join us on this edition of Justice Talking as we look at how farm policies affect your pocketbook and your dinner table.

Interview with a Farmer
Host Margot Adler talks with an Illinois farmer about his provocative views on agricultural subsidies.

John Phipps and his wife Jan run a 1,700-acre corn and soybean farm in Edgar County, Illinois. He writes humor and commentary for Farm Journal and Top Producer magazines. He also hosts "U.S. Farm Report," America's longest-running farm TV show.

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A Brief History of Agricultural Subsidies
Host Margot Adler interviews Roger McEowen about the origins and more recent history of government subsidies to American farmers.

Roger McEowen is the Leonard Dolezal Professor in Agricultural Law at Iowa State University (ISU) in Ames, Iowa, where he is also the director of the ISU Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation. Before joining Iowa State in 2004, Professor McEowen held a similar position at Kansas State University for 11 years.

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Debate on the Issue: U.S. Farm Subsidies
Ken Cook and Mary Kay Thatcher debate U.S. farm policy and the impact of subsidies on the American farmer.

Ken Cook is the president and co-founder of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC. Prior to founding EWG, Cook served as the vice president for policy at the Center for Resource Economics. He also directed press and governmental relations at the World Wildlife Fund and the Conservation Foundation.

Mary Kay Thatcher has worked as a lobbyist for the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) for 19 years. She currently serves as director of public policy where she lobbies and oversees other AFBF lobbyists and regulatory specialists with responsibilities for farm programs, fruits and vegetables, livestock, animal diseases and identification, taxes, budget, crop insurance and credit.

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Report from North Carolina
Reporter Rachel McCarthy talks with three North Carolina farmers to find out what subsidies mean for them.

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A Closer Look at Corn
Host Margot Adler interviews Otto Doering about how the United States became the world’s largest producer of corn.

Otto Doering is a professor in the Agricultural Economics Department at Purdue University. He is a public policy specialist and worked on the 1997 and 1990 farm bills for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In 1997 he was the principal advisor to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, where he helped implement the 1996 farm bill.

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Interview on Farmland Conservation
Host Margot Adler talks with Ralph Grossi about farmland conservation and the role of U.S. policy.

Ralph Grossi is president of American Farmland Trust (AFT), a national nonprofit organization focused on farmland protection. Grossi is a third-generation Marin County, California farmer who graduated from California Polytechnic State University in 1971. Since then, he has been managing partner of Marindale Ranch, a family partnership that has been in the dairy and beef business for more than 80 years, spanning four generations.

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Tour of an Urban Farm
The Mill Creek Farm is a collectively-run urban education farm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that utilizes vacant land to improve local access to nutritious foods and to promote sustainable resources. Farmer and co-director Johanna Rosen gives producer Ingrid Lakey a tour.

Photos courtesy of Mill Creek Farm

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