We have been taught from an early age that humans have four basic needs: food, water, clothing and shelter. Interestingly enough, it is the U.S. farm sector that provides two — food and clothing — out of those four needs. This fact puts farming and the programs that protect farmers from adversity — the farm safety net — pretty high on this country’s priority list. Yet farm programs account for just one-quarter of 1 percent of the federal budget, and some are advocating further reductions. Though every dime we spend must be scrutinized, dollar for dollar there is not a better investment of taxpayer funds than the U.S. farm safety net. Take the federal crop-insurance program, for example. It’s hard to think of a federal program that exacts so much benefit per dollar of federal investment. This amplification is possible because crop insurance combines the best of government and the private sector to help protect farmers from adversity and, therefore, ensure a safe, affordable, ample food supply for our citizens and the world.
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