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Farm Bill 2012

The Farm Bill is a huge piece of legislation that literally shapes the American farm and food landscape.

In This Series

  • Whippersnappers unite: Young farmers work to change 2012 Farm Bill

    A group of young farmers visiting Sen. Olympia Snowe’s office in Maine.Across the U.S., young people are heeding the call for a more just, sustainable, and healthy food system, and are heading to the fields to build it themselves. They are working on farms and starting their own small-scale farm businesses from scratch. But, as […]

  • Hacking the Farm Bill

    A slide from the winning entry. Rebecca Klein wasn’t expecting a lot when she signed up to attend last week’s Farm Bill Hackathon. This public health expert from the Center for a Livable Future at Johns Hopkins University had never heard of a hackathon — a gathering of computer programmers who lock themselves in a […]

  • Crop insurance: This year’s Farm Bill frontier

    2011 was a record year for liability, with drought in Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma, and Hurricane Irene taking out crops along the Eastern seaboard. Photo: Bob Gutowski One of the great battles of the 2012 Farm Bill might concern … (drumroll) … crop insurance! Don’t roll your eyes: At $8 billion, it’s the largest part […]

  • No Secret Farm Bill and other things to be thankful for

    Mark Bittman has provided the ultimate Thanksgiving guide for anyone interested in making our broken food system work again. His exhaustive list of the 25 people or groups for which he is most thankful is a must-read.* It starts with nutritionist and food system reform pioneer Marion Nestle and ends with “anyone who’s started a […]

  • Theft in progress: Big Ag raids the treasury — with help from Congress

    If the straight-up taxpayer swindle taking place in the supercommittee isn’t making you angry, you’re probably not paying attention. I’m talking about the attempt by agribusiness and a group of willing farm-state representatives to put billions of taxpayer dollars into the pockets of industrial farmers during the ongoing super committee Farm Bill negotiations. According to […]

  • The Farm Bill: The view from the grassroots

    The odds that most of us laypeople will have any opportunity to influence this year’s Farm Bill process are looking awfully slim. Sure, there’s still a chance the current, nearly opaque supercommittee process, and the piece of it now known as “the Secret Farm Bill,” could break down. If that happens, the National Sustainable Agriculture […]

  • A local food blueprint

    Photo: Matthew BurpeeThe most exciting aspect of the new USDA report on the local food and farm economy [PDF] isn’t the sizable $4.8 billion in annual sales of local food it says occurred in 2008. It’s the fact that, as the AP noted, the local food economy is poised to grow as fast as even […]

  • Will a ‘Secret Farm Bill’ be passed this week?

    Photo: Jeff Cushner Update (Nov. 4, 2011): According to this SFGate article, the new bill is expected to be submitted to the congressional supercommittee as early as today (Friday). Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wisc.) (the same Kind who put forth the Kind-Flake amendment during the 2007-2008 Farm Bill process) has stepped up at the 11th hour […]

  • Quick and dirty: Congress may rewrite the Farm Bill in two weeks

    Brace yourselves, food advocates: The congressional supercommittee charged with reducing the national debt considers making cuts to the nation's most important food and farming legislation.