Farm Bill


Photo courtesy Phil Roeder/Flickr

Four Things the New Congress Can Do to Hold Trump’s USDA Accountable

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

When it comes to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its handling of food and farming issues, Congressional oversight is sorely needed. As the new Congress gets underway, here are four ways its leaders should seek to make Secretary Perdue and his USDA more accountable to the public interest. Read more >

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The 2018 Farm Bill Is Now Law. But the Shenanigans Continue…

, Director, Food & Environment

Today, President Trump signs the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (the “farm bill”) into law. Over the past year, our allies and supporters called their elected officials, signed petitions, wrote letters to the editor and organized their communities—doing everything possible to impress upon Congress the importance of legislation that supports the nation’s farmers, and the food insecure, in an equitable and responsible way. It is time for a quick inventory of achievements and the work yet ahead, though there isn’t much time for us, or our supporters and allies, to catch our breath.

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Trump Administration Seeks to Undermine SNAP After Congress Negotiates Bipartisan Farm Bill

, Food Systems & Health Analyst

Yesterday—after work hours, in peak holiday season—Secretary Sonny Perdue held an off-camera, on-record, over-the-phone briefing about proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) that would result in major cuts to the program. At 5:03 am this morning the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) posted its new proposed rule. The proposed changes come on the heels of a failed effort to implement other ineffective and punitive work requirements in the farm bill. Read more >

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The Bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill Brings Some Consequences, Cautious Optimism for Conservation

, senior scientist

Last week, 11 weeks since the 2014 farm bill expired, Congress passed the latest version, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which President Trump is expected to sign into law. Although there are many things to celebrate in the new farm bill, there were also disappointments. This was the case for conservation, which was a bit of a mixed bag—and worth a closer look. Read more >

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Photo: Sustainable Food Center

Lapsed Farm Bill Hurts Central Texas Farmers and Low-income Families

, Food Systems & Health Analyst

When you think of Texas, a thriving local food scene probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind—but a visit to the SFC Farmers’ Market in downtown Austin might change that. The market draws large crowds every Saturday, and it plays a vitally important role in this city: linking small and midsize farmers across central Texas with customers—including those who shop using benefits from federal nutrition assistance programs—who are hungry for fresh produce and a sense of community. But far from Austin, the federal law that gives markets like this one a leg up are in limbo. Read more >

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