Brownley Welcomes USDA Announcement of $66 million in Specialty Crop Block Grant Funding- say what?

CropSubsidiesBy George Miller

Say WHAT? We publish Rep. Brownley’s press releases regularly, so you, the reader, can see what’s being done by your representative in Washington, in your name.  Rep. Brownley has been fairly transparent and honest about what she is doing, for which we compliment her. She has been one of the best advocates for our servicemen, too, if not for funding our military. But, she is not frugal with the peoples’ money and tends to consistently go the big government, big spending route. Our country now owes more than it can ever pay back, not only because of the $17 trillion national debt, but also in the neighborhood of $120 trillion in unfunded liabilities, for things like Medicare, Social Security and implied obligations for other debts. An increasing portion of the budget is going for debt service and this amount will only skyrocket as debt increases and artificially suppressed interest rates inevitably jump higher. So, we need more fiscal prudence.

$66 million in crop subsidies?  What the heck for?  Wouldn’t those crops be grown and sold profitably without these subsidies? American agriculture is already the most productive in the world.  Are Brownley and other government officials buying the support of voters and special interest groups?  By the way, this is way beyond any enumerated powers of the federal government.

This program is catering to special interests and facilitating wealth transfer.  Lest you think that this is a partisan attack, such boondoggle programs are not restricted to one party, otherwise this never could have been passed into law.

You will have a chance to show your preference for what kind of representatives you want, in the June 3 primary and again in the November general election. Please look long and hard at three 26th District candidates for Congress- Julia Brownley, Jeff Gorell and Rafael Dagnesses- all intelligent, committed, capable people, but all with somewhat different world views and ideas on how to go about governing.

Here is the release in question….


For Immediate Release

Friday, April 18, 2014

Brownley Welcomes USDA Announcement of $66 million in Specialty Crop Block Grant Funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) welcomed the announcement that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made approximately $66 million in Specialty Crop Block Grants available for projects to help specialty crop growers. As a member of the Specialty Crop Caucus, Brownley fought for the renewal of the Specialty Crop Block Grant program when Congress reauthorized the Farm Bill.

“The Specialty Crop Block Grants announced today will create jobs, strengthen our rural communities, and fund research to increase sustainability and profitability for our farmers,” said Brownley. “I voted for the Farm Bill to ensure that programs like this one can continue to benefit our farmers and farmworkers in Ventura County, and that families and students across the United States have greater access to healthy foods. Agriculture is a $2 billion dollar industry in Ventura, creates thousands of jobs, and is an integral part of our culture and heritage. I want to do everything I possibly can to help it thrive.”

Specialty Crop Block Grants are funded by the Farm Bill, and are allocated directly to U.S. states and territories for distribution based on crop production value and acreage. As the supplier of over half of the United States’ fruit and vegetables, California received $18.9 million for 65 different programs, the highest amount of funding provided to any state. Some of the 65 proposals include partnering with the California Strawberry Commission to improve water management, working with the California Cut Flower Commission and the California Flower Growers Cooperative to enhance the competitiveness of California-grown flowers, and working with leafy green growers to develop an industry-wide food safety training program. Strawberries, cut flowers, and leafy greens are three key crops in Ventura County.

A complete list of programs receiving funding can be found here. Interested applicants should apply directly to the California Department of Food and Agriculture.



George Miller is Publisher of and a “retired” operations management consultant, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard.

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One Response to Brownley Welcomes USDA Announcement of $66 million in Specialty Crop Block Grant Funding- say what?

  1. Bill Neumann April 18, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    What about MORE water! That’s what IS needed MOST!
    This money is a waste if it’s not going to go to building dams and pipe lines from rivers — no need to put more water in the ocean.


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