Our Farm Bill Champions are here with resources to fill you in on all the details you need to understand the 2018 Farm Bill.
National Farmers Union
NFU has put together an informative and compelling set of resources to help farmers and eaters understand the Farm Bill, fully grasp its importance, and learn how each of us can advocate for the best Farm and Food Bill possible. In addition to the fantastic videos below, click through to their website to hear from family farmers about what the Farm Bill means to them. Their words, and the video footage from their farms, are beautiful. While you’re there, scroll to the bottom of the webpage for simple fact sheets about specific Farm Bill issues, including conservation, the farm safety net, beginning farmers and farmer stress.
National Family Farm Coalition
NFFC’s “2018 Farm Bill Principles for Family Farmers” opens with the words, “Farm country is in crisis,” making it clear from the get-go how critical this Farm Bill is. The Principles document lays out the reality of today’s food system, and explains NFFC’s vison for the food system we deserve. It explains how we got to this place — bad policy — and what will get us out — good policy. For those who want a better understanding of the real nuts and bolts of farm policy, check out NFFC’s priority issues, from commodity pricing and credit, to competition and rural development.
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
NSAC works on Capitol Hill representing 120 member organizations (Farm Aid being one!) that work individually and collectively for a better food system. As a group, the Coalition is a strong advocate for federal policies that benefit family farmers, sustainable agriculture and rural communities. NSAC’s 2018 Farm Bill platform advances opportunity, equity and stewardship, building a better future for family farms by:
- Cultivating the next generation of farmers and ranchers
- Catalyzing entrepreneurship by bolstering farm-to-fork food systems
- Advancing natural resource stewardship
- Investing in 21st century seeds and research
- Strengthening the farm safety net for all farmers
NSAC is our go-to resource for understanding the policy maneuvers that happen quickly as the farm bill process gets underway. For instance, their recent Top Ten Reasons to Oppose the House Farm Bill distills what you need to know so you can act. Sign up for NSAC action alerts on their website and you can be as tuned into the Farm Bill as these ag policy wonks!
National Young Farmers Coalition
NYFC reports that agriculture in the United States is at the breaking point. Farmers over the age of 65 now outnumber farmers under 35 by a margin of six to one, and U.S. farmland is overwhelmingly concentrated in the hands of older farmers. Nearly two-thirds of farmland is currently managed by someone over 55. The National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates that over the next five years — the lifespan of the next farm bill — nearly 100 million acres of U.S. farmland are expected to change ownership and will need new farmers. NYFC’s Young Farmer Agenda seeks to remedy this situation and inspire and support an entire generation of young producers, protect the resources they steward, strengthen the communities they feed, and revitalize the rural economies they underpin. Their areas of focus include: delivery of federal farm programs, land access, student loan debt, training and farm viability, housing, climate and conservation and racial equity.
Illinois Stewardship Alliance
ISA is Dishing on the Farm Bill! Using their tools, you can host your own dinner party, potluck, picnic or cocktail party to bring people together on the Farm Bill!
Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI-USA)
RAFI has a Farm Bill web page chock full of information including their platform focused on the Southeastern U.S. and in partnership with a full diversity of farmers, farm workers, advocates and rural communities. We love their Farm Bill scorecard, which is updated as needed to analyze and grade each draft of the Farm Bill, so you know how it supports — or fails — our farmers, their communities and the environment. Click here, or on the graphic below, to see the latest scorecard on the bill currently under consideration in the house:
Hopefully, as the Senate Farm Bill draft is introduced and as the House bill gets debated, we will see those scores rise.
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)
IATP has a Farm Bill Portal with tons of info to get you up to speed on the current farm bill and past ones, to show you how we got to where we are. Since they work on agriculture and trade policy, a specific focus of IATP’s material is the interconnectedness of trade policy and the farm bill. As Ben Lilliston of IATP puts it, “Our farm bill is really designed to produce an excess of what we can consume in the United States in order to export more and more and this system works really well for agribusiness firms that are global.”
The National Agricultural Law Center
If you really want to dig in deep, head on over to The National Agricultural Law Center, where you can read the text of all of the Farm Bills throughout history! Too much for you? Here are a couple highlights:
Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association
Through its Farm Policy Matters program, the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) is organizing farmers and farm and food advocates to “take a farm stand” for a Farm Bill that supports sustainable and organic agriculture, and builds the next generation of farmers.