An Act to establish a federal farm board to promote the effective merchandising of agricultural commodities in interstate and foreign commerce, and to place agriculture on a basis of economic equality with other industries.
Under the administration of Herbert Hoover, the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1929 established the Federal Farm Board from the Federal Farm Loan Board established by the Federal Farm Loan Act of 1916 with a revolving fund of half a billion dollars. The original act was sponsored by Hoover in an attempt to stop the downward spiral of crop prices by seeking to buy, sell and store agricultural surpluses or by generously lending money to farm organizations. Money was loaned out to the farmers in order to buy seed and food for the livestock (this was especially important since there had been a drought in the Democratic South previously), but Hoover refused to lend to the farmers themselves, thinking that it was unconstitutional and if they were lent money, they would become dependent on government money. The Federal Farm Board's purchase of surplus could not keep up with the production-as farmers realized that they could just sell the government their crops, they reimplemented the use of fertilizers and other techniques to increase production. Overall, the deflation could not be countered because of a massive fault in the bill-there was no production limit. Had there been a production limit, the deflation might have been helped somewhat. The funds appropriated were exhausted eventually and the losses of the farmers kept rising.