From The New York Times:
With a House full of newly elected Republicans who pledged to cut federal spending, will the next farm bill be different? Some new members of Congress, like Kristi Noem of South Dakota, campaigned as deficit hawks, but have defended subsidies as a national security issue: the decline of farms could mean more food imports, they say. (Ms. Noem had partial ownership in a ranch that received more than $3 million in subsidies over 15 years, before her family bought her out last year.)
Do payments to farms protect national security? Or, more broadly, how should the farm subsidy program be changed?
The growing consensus is that the farm programs were intended to stabilize agriculture by keeping smaller farms operative and spreading out the number of people sustained by farming. Today the top ten percent of recipients get 74 percent of the subsidies. To many, it is apparent that if the budget is to be trimmed, farm programs must be drastically cut. Click the NY Times link for the full discussion.