For food reformers, little has changed since the "Secret Farm Bill" process was exposed to the public last fall. But now the GOP-led House has turned their attention to food stamps and it remains to be seen whether Congress can agree on a bill in time.
Daniel Imhoff, the man who literally wrote the book on food policy, talks about democracy, debate, and why we should feel thankful for the farm bill, even in depressing years like this one.
If Congress can't pass a new farm bill by September, farm policy will default to a 1949 version of the bill that was constructed for a very different America.
Is crop insurance just another way to say "handouts for Big Ag"? Or is it an excuse to send taxpayer dollars to overseas insurance giants? Our sources say it's both.
Record-high crop prices have all the big farms in the Midwest planting up a storm while farm state politicians plan to trim conservation programs. Put them together and what do you get? A Big Ag bubble.
The Secret Farm Bill process is long over and the Senate Ag Committee has scheduled its first round of Farm Bill hearings. So where should the sustainable food community put its attention now?
Ironically, after the rush to push the Farm Bill through the congressional supercommittee this fall, some farm state politicians are admitting that a bill before November's election is looking unlikely.
The Environmental Working Group says climate change activists should be concerned about proposed cuts to farm bill conservation programs, which would be the carbon-emissions equivalent of adding 2 million cars a year to America's roads.
Kansas wheat.Photo: Brian McGuirkMy father farmed in Kansas and envied those lucky farmers in the wetter states to the east of us, who could grow 200-bushel corn and other lucrative crops like soy beans and sugar beets. He had to satisfy himself with wheat, a drought-tolerant crop first brought to the States from a place in Russia much like ours. There, they called such arid places “steppes.” Here, we called them “plains.” To look at the pale-green buffalo grass that covered the High Plains, you would never suspect that an aquifer holding as much water as Lake Huron lay beneath. …