Now that we're beyond all the intrigue and behind-closed-doors shenanigans of the failed Secret Farm Bill, the good food movement is tasked with something even more daunting: staying awake and engaged as the 2012 Farm Bill moves through a more traditional process of hearings, committees, and amendments. I have my party hat on -- do you?
The clock is ticking
Because we’re in an election year, the bill would essentially have to be ready to go by the beginning of this summer for it to pass before the 2008 bill expires in September. And while Tom Laskawy and others think that’s unlikely, it’s not impossible, either. In a recent, super-in-depth rundown of the logistical and political factors effecting the process, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) wrote:
… The Food, Energy, and Conservation Act of 2008 was, in fact, passed in the presidential election year of 2008. But unlike the current situation, both the House and the Senate had already passed their versions of a farm bill in 2007. The work in 2008 was focused on reconciling the differences in the two bills through a conference committee and then passing the compromise.