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In 1995, for the first time since the 1930s, the United States failed to pass new farm program legislation. The inability to pass farm legislation occurred despite bipartisan agreement that farm programs should continue the trend over the past decade of less government intervention. This paper discusses the sequence of events, the role of agricultural economists, the major issues, and the lessons learned from the 1995 Farm Bill debate. The trend toward declining government intervention in agriculture will require that the profession look increasingly to the private sector for solutions to the problems facing agriculture in the twenty-first century.


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