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

After Farm Bill flop, Congress follows up with a split-bill fiasco

Late last week, the House of Representatives took up the Farm Bill again, after having failed to pass a bill last month.  This time, House leaders decided to take an unusual path and split the bill up, passing only the section on farm subsidies and related programs.  The part left out covered the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – formerly known as the Food Stamps program – which had accounted for the largest part of... Read More

What’s going on with the Farm Bill?

Has farm bill reporting has been stirring up a sense of déjà vu?  The bill was set to expire last year, the Senate passes a version but the House fails to do the same.  A lot of accusations from both sides drag on until an extension is needed.  Then we saw the same exact thing happen this Spring.  And now we’re stuck once more, waiting to see what comes next. Well here’s something new: certain Congressional leaders have been calling... Read More

Breaking Farm Bill News – Bill Fails in the House

This afternoon the House of Representatives failed to pass a farm bill.  After lengthy debates over the past few days and with thousands upon thousands of farmers and food advocates weighing in, the bill was shot down by a vote of 195-234.  Several contentious amendments in the final hours, including a major change to SNAP benefits, helped to seal the bill’s fate. So are we back where we were on New Years Eve? A House Ag Committee meeting,... Read More

Congress Farm Bill Debate – UPDATE!

First, thanks to the hundreds of young farmers (and supporters!) who have taken action so far today! We’ve received some updates on the House’s progress since we broke the Farm Bill news last night: The House rules committee finally released their list of 103 amendments that they consider “worthy” of being brought to the House floor.  Of those, a few of them need you to act RIGHT NOW: Fortenberry #93 – This amendment... Read More

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