Farm Bill Update:
The Senate Agriculture Committee released a draft of the long overdue proposed 2013 Farm Bill. The current extension to the 2008 Farm Bill ends this September. Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) claims that the bill offers “the most significant reform of American agriculture policy in decades.” According to her, the new bill puts an end to unnecessary subsidies and cracks down on abuse. The bill includes new programs that promote a healthy diet as well as programs that help connect consumers to their local farmers.
Critics of the proposed bill point out that it actually increases the already inflated federal subsidies to large corporate farms, cuts funding for low-income families and cuts billions of dollars from environmental conservation programs. These additional subsidies would allow farmers to buy even more crop insurance which would increase price guaranties for crops such as corn and soy. Great for Big Ag, not great for the consumer who is already experiencing higher food prices. The proposed bill decreases abuse on the consumer end, but that is minuscule compared to what corporate farms receive.
Other current bill proposals include: supporting biodiversity advancement, bio-energy production, training and initiatives that help new farmers and veterans begin agricultural businesses. To read all of the current proposals, visit The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry website.
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photo from: agriculture.house.gov