(back to Local Farms, Food, and Jobs legislation page)
HR3286 (112th Congress)
Feb. 3, 2012: Path to 2012 Farm Bill
In its "Path to the 2012 Farm Bill" series, NSAC gets into the details of the 2012 Farm Bill debate. This first post in the series discusses the major factors influencing the 2012 Farm Bill timing and process.
With the failure of the Super Committee process last fall, Agriculture Committee leaders now resume work on the 2012 Farm Bill through a more normal process that involves hearings, committee mark-ups, and a committee and floor amendment process. The current farm bill expires on September 30, 2012, and Congress must take action on farm policy by then if it wants to avoid reverting to 1949 farm law — the fallback permanent law for the farm bill. That action can come in the form of passing a stand-alone farm bill, attaching a farm bill proposal to another bill, or passing a short or long-term extension of current law either as a stand-alone measure or attached to something else. Significant political, budget, and committee factors will influence that choice as well as the timing of the farm bill process this year.
Jan. 20, 2012: Local food and the farm bill: small investments and big returns
For too long, funding provided by the United States’ most far-reaching food and farm legislation has primarily benefited agri-business and large scale industrial-scale commodity farms that aren’t growing food. Instead, they’re growing ingredients for animal feed, fuel and highly processed food — at a high cost to our nation’s health, environment and rural communities.
Jan. 18, 2012: Organic crop insurance cost spoils growth
Consumer demand for organic foods has helped Uncle Matt’s Organic Inc. grow from 5 acres of oranges in 1999 to become Florida’s biggest organic-citrus producer. Further expansion is being hampered by the federal crop insurance program designed to help farmers, says the company’s founder, Matt McLean.
Jan. 9, 2012: An organic farmer in the U.S. Congress
Not many farmers and restaurateurs have much in the way of spare time. Chellie Pingree managed to become a farmer, a restaurant/B&B owner and a United States Congresswoman all within the span of a couple of decades. The mother of three has represented Maine's first congressional district since getting elected in 2008, and has become an outspoken advocate of local food and farms during her time in Washington.
Nov. 19, 2011: Mark Bittman: No Turkeys Here
Four D.C. lawmakers with the guts to fight Big Ag: Senators Bernie Sanders (a national treasure), Jon Tester, an organic farmer, and Representatives Rosa DeLauro and Chellie Pingree. There are others, but not enough; next year there should be more.
Nov. 8, 2011: Mark Bittman: The Secret Farm Bill
Scores of legislators, farm and advocacy groups, individuals and other organizations have crafted proposals to be considered for the next farm bill, and at least some are slipping notes under the door of the group of four, hoping to influence their recommendations. Among the best of these is the Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act, a title that would strengthen local and regional agriculture and increase access to healthy food, introduced by Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, Democrat of Maine, and Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio.
Nov. 4: 2011: Rep. Pingree aims to divert federal aid to local farms
Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree this week filed a bill that would change America's agricultural playing field by providing more opportunity for local and regional farmers. The Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act would also reward schools that use fresh, local foods, would allow people to use food stamps to purchase farmers market items and would direct the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop locally adapted and not just genetically modified seeds.
Nov. 3, 2011: Pingree: Use Farm Bill to Help Local Food Economies
When I moved to Maine as a teenager in 1971, big business (and big subsidies) were just beginning to define American agriculture. Instead of the small, diverse farms that fed our communities for generations, our food system was shifting to mass production, chemical engineering, huge companies and empty calories.