Farmers in Texas are planning to boycott agricultural production after the state’s agriculture commissioner ruled last week to cut subsidies for farmers.
On Monday, Agriculture Commissioner Mike Pompeo said farmers in Texas will be eligible to apply for the $20,000 in cash subsidies in order to purchase produce, livestock and fruits and vegetables for up to a year, as well as to sell their produce at a discount price, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
Pompeo announced the change at a news conference.
“We’re going to make the decision based on the fact that we know that it’s actually going to help us get to the bottom of the problem, and that is that Texas is the worst offender in this regard,” Pompeo told reporters on Monday.
The state has a reputation for subsidizing crops and livestock to meet food-stamp eligibility requirements, which critics say are too high and are being used to fund subsidies for corporate agriculture.
Policymakers in other states have already decided to reduce subsidies, including Minnesota, Ohio and Texas, and have announced plans to do the same in other markets.
Greg Abbott has been pushing the state to reduce its reliance on farm subsidies, which have long been controversial in Texas, which has one of the highest agricultural production costs in the country.POMPEO’S DECISION TO CHANGE THE PAYMENT FOR THE RULINGPompleo, who is also the state agriculture commissioner, told the Austin-American-Statesmen that he would “do everything in my power to stop any of this.”
He said he would ask the Texas Agriculture Commissioner’s Office to conduct a thorough review of the rules and the decision.POPPOPO SAYS ‘NOT WORRIED’ At a press conference in Houston on Monday, Texas Agriculture commissioner Mike Pompeio said that farmers would be eligible for the subsidy “if they have the ability to produce enough food to pay for it” if they were eligible.
He said he expects that to be a significant number of farmers, because it is an important part of their livelihood.
“We’ve been doing it for a long time, we know how to do it, and I think it’s time for us to go forward with that program, which is why we’re doing this,” Pompeio told reporters.
“I’m not worried about any farmers that are not eligible.”POMPOPIO: ‘NOT WAITING TO PUT THE TRACK AGAINST ALL OTHER PROVINCES’Pomptos comments come after other states including New York and California cut back their agricultural subsidies, and Texas Gov.
Rick Perry said in April that he planned to sign legislation eliminating the subsidies in his state.
The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) has also said that the state will stop using a program that helps to subsidize farmers by waiving state taxes on their produce.
Polls have shown that many Texans support the program, although they oppose the cuts and many farmers have expressed concerns about the impact it will have on their jobs.
Texas already has some of the lowest farm incomes in the nation, and in recent years, many farmers are losing their jobs due to the state cutting back on agricultural subsidies.