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Shaping our Agricultural Landscape: The Farm Bill

Economy, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Kelly Wilson

Every five years Congress votes on a massive piece of legislation that dramatically influences the landscape and nutrition of our nation:The Farm Bill. This piece of legislation determines what we eat and how it is grown and has huge impacts on public and environmental health. The current (2014) Farm Bill only accounts for 4% of total federal spending and includes 12 titles addressing broad topic areas.


Title I- Commodities (4.2%)
1.Price Support ProgramsScreen Shot 2017-12-07 at 11.38.45 PM

Title II- Conservation programs (5.8%)
1.National Resource Conservation Service Programs

Title III- Trade
1.International Food Aid

Title IV- Nutrition (79.6%)
1.SNAP (Food Stamps)
2.Funding for Double Up Food Bucks and similar programs
3.Senior nutrition
4.Fresh fruit and vegetable program

Title V- Credit (loan programs)

Title VI- Rural Development
1. Infrastructure Improvement (broadband, energy, telemedicine, etc.)
2. Business development grants and assistance
3. Value-added producer grants

Title VII- Research
1. Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
2. Cooperative Extension Funding

Title VIII- Forestry

Title IX- Energy
Bioenergy

Title X- Horticulture
Organic Agriculture
Food Safety Education
Specialty Crop Block Grants

Title XI- Crop Insurance (9.8%)

Title XII- Misc.
1. Outreach for socially disadvantaged farmers
2. Country of Origin Labeling
3. Military Veterans Liaison at USDA
4. Office for Tribal Relations at USDA

The current Farm Bill expires on September 30, 2018 and talks are already underway to craft the next edition. Encourage your representatives to support Farm Bill policies that promote conservation of natural resources, support beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, and ensure all citizens have access to safe, healthy, affordable food.  Voice your opinions and share your stories. Congress needs to hear how the Farm Bill programs and policies have impacted you and your food business.

Get Involved:
Producers:
 Share your story.
 Write a letter. Record a video. Send an email.
           House Committee on Agriculture
           Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
 Stay up to date

Consumers:
 Ask your local food producers how the Farm Bill impacts them. Advocate for Farm Bill policies that support their work.
 Educate yourself
 Host a postcard writing party. Send an email. Write a letter.
           House Committee on Agriculture
           Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry

More information:

 National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s Agenda for the 2018 Farm Bill
 
Farm Bill Primer
 
A Short History of the Farm Bill
 
Center for Rural Affairs: Farm Bill Priorities
 Farm Bill and Public Health

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