Can the Farm Bill Help Small Farms?
Learn about one Congresswoman's plan to strengthen small farms, promote farmers' markets and help school lunch programs buy more food locally.
Growing Better Farms
What are some of the biggest problems with the current farm bill? For a long time the politics of the farm bill have been controlled by big commodity crops: wheat, corn and rice get all the big subsidies, over $10 billion per year. But people really want to invest our tax dollars differently...They want healthier, locally grown food. The consumer demand is really high.
What other parts of the farm bill would you like to improve? Helping to promote farmers’ markets and making it easier for people to use food stamps there. Helping school lunch programs buy more food locally. Increasing value-added producer grants for, say, putting in a certified creamery so farmers can make their own cheese and sell it at the farmers’ market. You’ve just enhanced income and produced a new product; maybe you employ another person on your farm. These things sound little, but when added up I think they equal like 10,000 potential jobs.
Are you hopeful that your provisions will be included in the final bill? We’re a long ways from the end, but we’re feeling positive. There’s a revolution out there, people of all economic brackets, all ages, are really engaged in where their food comes from, in a way you wouldn’t have seen five years ago.