“Awful” and “horrible” are just some of the epithets that have been hurled at U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman by farm-state lawmakers. What’s drawn their ire is Veneman’s effort to overhaul the $20 billion federal farm subsidies program, which she says threatens international trade agreements, supports the wealthiest farmers, and is bad for the environment. She is proud of her reform proposal, which helped double the amount of funding for conservation efforts in the bill being considered by the Senate, but her opponents call her ideas “drastic.” Her predecessors in the position say the farm lobby is immensely powerful and warn that she is playing with fire.