Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

August 1992


Published in Great Plains Research 2:2 (August 1992), pp. 308-309. Copyright © 1992 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


This work explores the impact that interest groups have on influencing national agricultural legislation, and thus, U.S. agricultural policy. The term "interest groups" implies the entire gambit ofthose who desire to, or actually do, have notable impact on the formulation of U.S. agricultural policy. Actually, Hansen confines his analysis (except for the National Milk Producers Federation) to those general farm organizations that were active during the period 1919-1981.

By confining his main analysis to general farm organizations (American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union, National Farmers Organization, etc.), Hansen misses other major players who also have access to Congress. In recent times, it might be argued that commodity groups representing producers of corn, wheat, cattle, hogs, cotton, sugar, peanuts, etc., often have better access to Congress than the general farm organizations. Further, the omission of the influence of the multinational agribusinesses headquartered in the United States, combined with the transportation and agricultural chemical industry, ignores an impact on agricultural policy that may exceed that of the producer organizations.