The Farm Bill
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The Farm Bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation the American president signs. Negotiated every five to seven years, it has tremendous implications for food production, nutrition assistance, habitat conservation, international trade, and much more. Yet at nearly 1,000 pages, it is difficult to understand for policymakers, let alone citizens. In this primer, Dan Imhoff and Christina Badaracco translate all the “legalease" and political jargon into an accessible, graphics-rich 200 pages.
Readers will learn the basic elements of the bill, its origins and history, and perhaps most importantly, the battles that will determine the direction of food policy in the coming years. The authors trace how the legislation has evolved, from its first incarnation during the Great Depression, to today, when America has become the world’s leading agricultural powerhouse. They explain the three main components of the bill—farm subsidies, food stamps or SNAP, and conservation programs—as well as how crucial public policies are changing.
As Congress ramps up debate about the next farm bill, we all need to understand the implications of their decisions. Will there be limits on subsidies to huge agribusinesses? Can we shift toward programs that reward sustainable farming practices? Will hungry kids get the help they need? These are questions that affect not only farmers, but everyone who eats. You have a stake in the answers. The Farm Bill is your guide.
PART I. Farm Bill Basics
Chapter 1. What is the Farm Bill?
Chapter 2. Why Does the Farm Bill Matter?
Chapter 3. Whom Does the Farm Bill Benefit?
Chapter 4. How Does the Farm Bill Work?
PART II. The History of Food Policy
Chapter 5. Origins of the Farm Bill
Chapter 6. The Changing Face of Agriculture
Chapter 7. The Changing Face of Hunger
Chapter 8. The Conservation Era
PART III. Key Policy Issues
Chapter 9. Crop Subsidies
Chapter 10. Nutrition, SNAP, and Healthy Eating
Chapter 11. Agribusiness versus Family Farmers
Chapter 12. Job creation
Chapter 13. Trade
Chapter 14. An Alternative System
PART IV. Reforming the Farm Bill
Chapter 15. Opportunities for Change
Chapter 16. Public Health
Chapter 17. Food Security
Chapter 18. Ethanol
Chapter 19. Energy and Climate Change
Chapter 20. Conservation
Chapter 21. National Security
PART V. The Future of Food Policy
Chapter 22. Ecosystem-Based Agriculture
Chapter 23. Local Food
Chapter 24. A Citizen's Farm Bill
Chapter 25. Twenty-Five Solutions
Chapter 26. A Vision of Sustainable Food
Appendix: Activist Tool Kits