Jonathan Ahl

The latest proposal for the farm bill — the law governing everything from food stamps to rural development grants — is being considered by the U.S. Senate this week. It's designed to save more than $23 billion over the next 10 years, in part by getting rid of direct payments to farmers. The direct payment program alone costs taxpayers $5 billion per year.

Dairy industry pushes for reform

Mar 27, 2012

Many dairymen are calling the government price support system broken, but just how to fix it isn't clear. There's debate over how much the government should step in to help in tough times and as to what degree it should let the free market govern.  

Iowa's fourth congressional district is big; it spans from Warren county in the south, along the western part of the Des Moines Metro area, up to the Minnesota border and over to the northeast corner of the state. It's also solidly Republican, and incumbent Tom Latham is seeking a 9th term in office.