Corn Links: Farm Bill, Chipotle and the Chesapeake Bay

Cheer up, sad Chipotle scarecrow. Even though your company’s ad is meaningless and shallow, at least it looked pretty.

The farm bill is still going nowhere, Chipotle gets called out by Funny or Die and a judge upholds a ruling on the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load issue. More details below in this Friday’s Corn Links:

Farm bill still stuck
If congress fails to pass a farm bill by Oct. 1, conservation programs will take a hit. According to Andrew McElwaine of the American Farmland Trust, conservation compliance has saved more than 295 million tons of soil annually and protected more than 3 million acres of wetlands.

So, where does the farm bill currently stand? Pretty much stuck in the same spot it’s been for the last several months. The House passed a bill Thursday that would cut $4 billion annually from the food stamp program and add work and drug-testing provisions. There’s no way the Senate would pass a farm bill that cuts food stamps that drastically, so until the two sides figure out their differences, we’re not going to have a farm bill. Meanwhile, a government shutdown looms if republicans and democrats can’t agree on a budget or to raise the debt ceiling.

Funny or Die skewers Chipotle ad
Did people really think that Chipotle got its ingredients from random folks with backyard gardens? That’s what the mega food chain tried to make you think with this high-budget ad that also implied modern agriculture = sorrow and pain and the only way to cheer up was to plant a few green peppers in your back yard, chop them up in your kitchen, and put them in a tasty-looking Chipotle burrito.

The whole point of the ad was to make you think it wasn’t an ad. By viewing Chipotle as some type of hero fighting against the perceived perils of modern agriculture, Chipotle was hoping you would engage with their brand and forget the fact that Chipotle itself is is a giant national food chain. Funny or Die didn’t fall for it and came out with a parody of the ad that is spot on.

There is plenty of room for all types of farming in today’s society. For whatever reason, bashing modern farming — or “industrial agriculture” as some mistakenly call it — has become a trendy new marketing tactic. Bravo to the folks at Funny or Die for calling out Chipotle on this issue.

Judge rules in favor of EPA on TMDL for Chesapeake Bay
Federal judge Sylvia Rambo ruled that EPA could impose nutrient standards on six states and Washington D.C. that have waters that flow into Chesapeake Bay. National Corn Growers Association president Pam Johnson released this statement following the ruling:

 “The National Corn Growers Association is disappointed to hear the court’s decision to uphold the TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) in the Chesapeake Bay.  We continue to believe the Chesapeake Bay TMDL goes beyond the scope of Clean Water Act authority and has a negative impact on agricultural production and innovation.”

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