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

A Brief History of the 2012 Farm Bill

We get a lot of questions about exactly what went down with the Farm Bill last year.  (Honestly, it was head-spinning confusion even for seasoned policy experts.)  To help shed a little light, here’s a play-by-play recap: How the process should work For starters, what is the Farm Bill and how does it affect me? The Farm Bill is an omnibus bill (that is, one that incorporates many different topics) passed every five-ish years by the US Congress... Read More

A possible fix to stranded farm bill programs (and sequestration) announced in the senate

Senator Harry Reid. Image courtesy of www.reid.senate.gov Late last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) released the Senate Democrats’ proposal to avoid the upcoming sequestration through spending cuts and revenue increases.  Included in this “American Family Economic Protection Act” proposal were a number of changes to USDA spending, many addressing shortcomings of the terrible Farm Bill extension passed in early January.   The... Read More

A Sharp Twist in Farm Bill 2012/2013

The great Farm Bill saga of 2012/2013 took a major turn for the worse last night as the Senate passed a new Farm Bill extension. In a rapid about-face, the Senate passed a nine-month Farm Bill extension that continues prominently wasteful policies from the last bill and ignores a slew of conservation and beginning farmer programs. At 1 AM last night, the Senate approved the Farm Bill extension as a part of the larger fiscal cliff bill by a vote of... Read More