Here is Senator Roberts interviewing former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack. Roberts reveals what I'd say is a bias that exists against those whose mission (some say) clashes with the important work of "production agriculture" farmers - "the folks who produce the food and fiber for America and a troubled and hungry world," says Sen. Roberts.
At about 1:38:00 into the 2.5-hour hearing, Sen. Roberts says:
"Now Governor, we're sitting here in, what is it, Dirksen G-50, and this is the scene of the great Ag Conference Committee that produced the farm bill. It was a little unusual, the chairman and I were a little startled to see that we had 61 members at that Ag conference where we usually have about 20. I made the comment when, the person allegedly in charge of the House, made 4 speeches and said 4 times he didn't know why he was there."Anyone from the small farm contingent would have reveled in Vilsack's look of astonishment at that point.
"I also made the comment that it looked like the bar scene from Star Wars but that may be a little ... a little drastic."
"But there were a lot of people there that weren't involved in production agriculture. I have no problem with the programs that they want. But they actually acted like Lizzie Borden, after they gave us one whack - why they gave us about 41 others."Senator Roberts is a respected authority on agriculture in Congress. He served as Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture from 1995-1997, and was recently Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics (1999-2001), and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (2003-2007).