Reports

Making Public Agricultural Research Work for the Public: Research and the Farm Bill

Published May 21, 2012

The importance of the Farm Bill’s Research title is hard to overstate. It may not have a direct impact on people’s lives as the food assistance programs and farm programs do, but it is a crucial driver in the long-term direction of U.S. agriculture. Its impact goes far beyond the USDA research institutions...

Planting for the Future: Health and the Farm Bill

Published May 15, 2012

In the U.S., and increasingly around the world, it’s very easy for consumers to find high-calorie, high-sugar, nutrient-poor foods, including sugar sweetened drinks, fast foods and highly processed snack foods. This food environment is one where such foods are aggressively marketed, easily accessible and often...

International Standards for Trade in Nano-coated Produce?

Published May 8, 2012

Nanotechnology-based food and health products and food packaging materials are available to consumers in some countries already, and additional products and applications are currently in the research and development stage, and some may reach the market soon. In view of such progress, it is expected that nanotechnology...

Bugs in the System

Published May 1, 2012

Executive summary Basic microbiology and the principle of natural selection dictate that antibiotic use will tend to spur bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics. This fact underlays growing concern about the public health effects of the 29 million pounds of antibiotics sold annually for animal agriculture,...

This Land, Our Land: Rural Development, Energy and Conservation in the Farm Bill

Published April 26, 2012

Rural America makes up only 16 percent of the U.S. population, but 90 percent of the land.1 Most of the resources we depend upon—food, water, energy, fiber and minerals—are either derived from or heavily impacted by rural land use, and stewarded by rural community members. These resources are imperative to...

Enough to Eat: Food Assistance and the Farm Bill

Published April 23, 2012

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp program) is the nation’s largest and most important food assistance program. The original Food Stamp program was created to provide both a new market for farmers’ surplus crops and relief for Americans living in poverty....

Disadvantaged Farmers: Addressing Inequalities in Federal Programs for Farmers of Color

Published March 28, 2012

Farming is a business fraught with financial risks, including severe weather, pest and disease outbreaks, and dramatic fluctuations in both costs and prices paid to farmers and ranchers. It’s reasonable that federal policy would reduce some of the risk of agriculture and support a safe and abundant food system....

Everyone at the Table: Local Foods and the Farm Bill

Published March 28, 2012

The local foods movement in the United States has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade, but still represents a small portion of the overall food system. How can local food systems continue to grow and remain sustainable? Every five years, Congress revisits farm and food policy in the U.S. through debate and...

Local Foods, Global: Food Aid and the Farm Bill

Published March 28, 2012

The U.S. food aid program is hugely important at the global level. At $2.3 billion in 2010, the U.S. provides just over half of emergency food aid deliveries to millions of beneficiaries around the world suffering from famine, natural disaster and conflict.1 There is little doubt that food aid has saved countless...

A Risky Proposition: Crop Insurance in the Face of Climate Change

Published March 28, 2012

In the last year, the U.S. has experienced some of the most severe floods and droughts in recent history. According to climate scientists, the future holds more droughts, more floods and more heat waves. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that in the run-up to the 2012 Farm Bill most farm lobby groups have made...