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The failure of Congress to pass a Farm Bill in 2012, and the ensuing disastrous nine-month extension that eviscerated a score of programs, illustrates how impotent this policy tool has become. Instead of addressing the urgent challenges our food system faces, the Farm Bill is a patchwork of programs that not only fail to support each other, but often contradict and undermine each other. This failure, combined with growing influence of corporate money in Washington, holds true reform at a standstill.
Now is the time to think differently. This is why IATP is launching a new initiative to work with partners and experts to identify policy proposals that go Beyond the Farm Bill to tackle structural barriers and build an alternate system. By harnessing new ideas, we aim to create a public policy agenda that supports a fair and sustainable food and farm system, grounded in the values of resiliency, justice, health and sovereignty.
Join us in this initiative to break the policy chains of the Farm Bill and think bigger for a fair, sustainable, and healthy farm and food system.
For the past 75 years, ever since the New Deal programs of the Roosevelt administration, federal policy makers have taken an active role in agriculture. Every five to seven years, agricultural policies are evaluated and reauthorized through the federal Farm Bill. The last bill was passed in 2007; the next is expected in 2012. The larger public is discovering that policies in the Farm Bill affect not just farmers here and around the world, but rural communities, the environment, health, hunger and even immigration. Literally everyone has a stake in the Farm Bill.
IATP has been fighting for a fair, healthy and sustainable Farm Bill for more than 25 years. In our new What’s at Stake series, we analyze how the Farm Bill affects issues we all care about.