The Farm Bill shapes our local, regional, and national food systems, from farm and crop production, to access to healthy food, to nutrition and hunger programs. The process to reauthorize the Farm Bill in 2018 is underway. Stakeholders, advocates, and community members all have a role in ensuring that the next Farm Bill protects and expands progress made thus far, while strengthening policies that advance equitable and sustain food systems and healthy communities.
Check out the resources below to learn more about the Farm Bill and stay formed about the process underway.
2018 FARM BILL REAUTHORIZATION UPDATE
- On June 28, the Senate passed its version of the 2018 Farm Bill with strong bi-partisan support (86-11). The House of Representatives passed their version of the bill (H.R.2) on June 22 purely on party lines. The House bill has been widely criticized for a number of its proposals, but one of the greatest concerns by food advocates, is its severe cuts and modifications to the SNAP program.
- Both versions of these bills reauthorizes the USDA Healthy Food Financing Initiative, and the Senate bill expands the definition for eligible investments beyond retail to “food enterprises.” This expanded definition would potentially allow for a broader array of investment opportunities in communities where food access challenges are at the most extreme.
- Next Steps: the Senate and House Agriculture Committee leaders will begin the conference committee process, where they will need to work to reconcile these two very different bills. The current Farm Bill expires on September 30, 2018. It is unclear whether the conference committee will be able to negotiate through the significant differences by that date. We will continue to update this page as the process moves forward.
- View the archive for our latest Portal webinar, Opportunities in the 2018 Farm Bill: Federal Efforts to Advance Equitable and Sustainable Food Systems, on Tuesday, January 9, 2018.
FARM BILL 101
- Pittsburgh Food Policy Council Farm Bill Guide: The 2018 Farm Bill Guide aims to help PFPC's members gain a basic understanding of the Farm Bill, a key piece of federal legislation that affects many aspects of our food system, and access the information and resources you need to advocate around the issues you care about. This guide includes background information on the Farm Bill and the programs it governs, tips on engaging with representatives, and additional resources to further engagement efforts.
- Regaining Our Future: An Assessment of Risks and Opportunities for Native Communities in the 2018 Farm Bill: Commissioned by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, this report represents the most comprehensive analysis ever conducted on Farm Bill issues relevant to Indigenous populations in the United States.
- Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs: Developed by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, this guide offers an overview of federal programs and policies most important to sustainable agriculture and how they can be used by farmers, ranchers, and grassroots organizations nationwide. The guide also contains dozens of competitive grant programs intended to help grassroots organizations better serve communities and farmers.
ADDITIONAL TOPIC AREAS
- Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Fact Sheet: Read this fact sheet for an overview of the federal Healthy Food Financing Initiative – a viable, effective, and economically sustainable solution to the problem of limited access to healthy foods, and can reduce health disparities, improve the health of families and children, create jobs, and stimulate local economic development in low-income communities.
- SNAP Delivers Vital Assistance and Is Good for the Economy, By Ellen Vollinger, Food Research and Action Center
- Join the Healthy Food Access Policy Network's monthly mailing list.
- Learn who your Congressional representatives are at https://www.govtrack.us.
- Learn about Farm Bill advocacy efforts spearheaded by local, state, and national organizations, including:
- Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) – PolicyLink, The Food Trust, Reinvestment Fund
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – Food Research & Action Center
- Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program – Fair Food Network
- Local FARMS Act and Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act – National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
- The Farm 2 Fork Initiative