12 farmers, 44 meetings, 1 day

In the first week of June, with the 2018 farm bill already in motion, twelve young farmers flew to D.C. to tell Congress we need a farm bill that invests in our future. They discussed land access, student loans, health care and more. We held 44 meetings in one day and left D.C. feeling confident that young farmer interests will be included in the next farm bill. June is one of the hardest times of the year to leave the farm, and we’re so... Read More

Young Farmer Success Act Reintroduced in Congress

A bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives took action to address our urgent national need for more young farmers by reintroducing the Young Farmer Success Act (H.R. 1060).   The National Young Farmers Coalition first worked with members of Congress in 2015 to tackle one of the greatest barriers to young farmer success: student loan debt. The Young Farmer Success Act was introduced in October 2015 and today, that bill was reintroduced with key... Read More

2016 Agriculture Appropriations: An Update

By Eric Hansen, NYFC Policy Analyst  Earlier this month, Congress reached a major milestone in its annual appropriations process, which funds the federal government. Both the relevant committees in the House and the Senate passed funding bills for the Department of Agriculture. These bills set spending levels for conservation programs and farm loans and include “policy riders” that alter Farm Bill programs. The Appropriations Process Each year,... Read More

Young Farmer Success Act introduced in Congress

University of Maryland agriculture instructor Meredith Epstein loves teaching, but it isn’t the career she imagined for herself. Epstein doesn’t lack the skills, training, or talent for her chosen profession—farming—she simply can’t afford to invest in a farm of her own because she has student loan debt. The Young Farmer Success Act of 2015 would remove this barrier to business investment for Epstein and thousands of other young farmers... Read More

Guest Post: Uncapped Entitlement is Bad for Agriculture and Holding up the New Farm Bill

We’ve talked in the past about the need for Congress to reform its payment limit systems (ie, the way farms receive crop subsidies).  It’s not one of the most exciting policy areas that we focus on, but it’s more important than you might think! Right now, payments are structured to favor the very largest farms – not only is this a waste of money that could be spent on productive USDA programs, but it creates an unlevel playing... Read More

Farm Bill Update – US House moves a step toward the finish line

A quick farm bill 2013 update, for all you policy wonks out there (and busy farmers too!): Two dozen members of Congress held a press conference earlier this summer in support of the SNAP program, which was just cut nearly $40 billion in the House bill.  Photo courtesy of Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s website. We broke the news last week that the House had passed a nutrition-title-only bill last week (here’s a good article summarizing how... Read More

Another step toward a farm bill as the clock ticks down

Well, we’ve been focusing the past couple weeks on the proposed food safety regulations that are turning a lot of heads in the farming communities, but let’s take a quick moment to check out what Congress is up to on the Farm Bill. Congressman Frank Lucas, chair of the House Agriculture Committee Congress has only a couple weeks left before the September 30th expiration of the farm bill extension.  As you’ll recall from earlier... Read More

Young farmers taking a stand against hunger

Last month we heard that the House was passing a farm bill that didn’t include a nutrition title – effectively leaving the millions of people who depend on food assistance in their times of need out in the cold.  And now, as reported here yesterday, House leaders proposed a separate Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) bill – one with ten times the cuts that the Senate proposed last month. NYFC put out a call to action,... Read More

Farm Bill policy update – One step forward, one step back

It feels like we’re accelerating toward September 30th, the expiration of the current farm bill extension!  That date has always been on the long-term horizon, but until recently there’d been hope of real headway on creating a full five-year bill to replace these short-term solutions.  Congress is back in home-districts for the month of August, so they’ll have only one month to get it done, lest we face a re-enactment of last year’s... Read More

Farmers fight back to protect SNAP – take action now!

Last week, for the first time in 40 years, the House of Representatives passed a farm bill without the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also called SNAP or food stamps). This was an unprecedented move, and came despite the fact that the Senate had already passed a bill that included the nutrition title.  Although nutrition programs don’t directly benefit our farms in the same way that FSA loans or agricultural education programs do,... Read More

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