Although extreme environmental groups and other high-powered special interests have spent millions of dollars lobbying against U.S. farm policy in the halls of Congress and in the editorial pages of major newspapers, a new poll finds that they are not getting traction with the American public.
According to the Congressional Connection Poll, conducted by Princeton University Survey Research Associates International, 76 percent of Americans polled support U.S. farm policy that helps ensure that “prices for their crops don’t fall too low,” with 39 percent advocating an increase in U.S. farm policy investment and 37 percent believing current investment should be maintained. Only 19 percent of Americans thought that funding for U.S. farm policy should be cut.
“God bless the American public for standing firm with U.S. farmers and ranchers,” said former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest (R-TX). “It has to be very embarrassing to the environmental extremists and other special interests who have spent millions of dollars trying to mislead Americans into abandoning those families who feed, clothe, and fuel this nation like no other in history. The American public’s ‘baloney detector’ is still working.”
“People like me are persuaded to subscribe to some of the environmentalist groups because they often speak in terms of protecting rural America,” said Mark Andreasen, who sells crop insurance in Soda Springs, Idaho. “But I personally began to question their motives and understanding when they began to publish records of those who received any form of farm assistance without explaining what that assistance was,” Andreasen added. “I am bothered by activism that seems to incite and sensationalize without drilling deep into the issue and understanding and presenting all the facts.”
“I hope lawmakers in Congress and editorial page writers will consider what the American public had to say about U.S. farm policy when asked straight-up by an unassailable, independent pollster,” said Rep. Combest. “Over three-fourths of all Americans told Congress: We reject the false attacks. We support our farmers and ranchers.”
As for agriculture’s opponents, Combest concluded, “When the public is asked to contribute to these kinds of groups, just say no. They are not leveling with you and the American people are not buying what they have to sell. In this tough economy, spend your money on better things.”