By Dan Shapley
Organic And Specialty Crops, And School Nutrition Are In Line For First-Time Subsidies
California will benefit, under a deal brokered yesterday, from $1.5 billion in farm subsidies that will go to organic, specialty crops, school nutrition, land conservation and other programs typically short-changed in the massive federal farm bill. The farm bill has traditionally subsidized corn, cotton, soy and other big Midwest and Southern row crops grown on an industrial scale. This year, for the first time, smaller farmers growing sustainable crops, supporting regional food networks and supplying local schools are in line for a boost. Now, the goal should be to extend the benefits House Speaker Nancy Pelosi won for her home state to the rest of the country. California, as the legions of farmers market consumers know, is not the only state with a budding organic farm produce market in need of some support.