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By: Taylor Pate
November 2017

Every four to five years, Congress and the President enact a new Farm Bill, the compendium of federal food and farm policy that affects just about every aspect of the food chain, from field to fork, e.g.: what food is produced where, how, and by whom and access to that food. We are due for a new Farm Bill in 2018.

To help ensure that the 2018 Farm Bill aligns with our beliefs, Slow Food USA Executive Director, Richard McCarthy, and Slow Food State Governors sent a letter to key Congressional Leaders outlining our priorities for a Farm Bill that supports a Food Chain that is Good, Clean, and Fair for All. 

In the letter we call upon Congress to pass a fair and equitable 2018 Farm Bill that delivers on three overarching priorities…

1. Better Nutrition and an End to Hunger, ensuring that everyone, and most importantly our children, have access to ample, healthful food by preserving and enhancing the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), Farm to School programming, and important food security programs and by reducing food waste.

2. A Level “Plowing” Field, supporting: small and mid-scale, family farmers on diversified and sustainable farms, by ensuring equitable access to fair markets and technical and financial support; immigrant farm workers, by ending unfair treatment and fear of harassment, detention, family separation, and deportation; and urban farmers, by addressing the unique needs of urban agriculture through coordinated policies and programs.

3. Food for the Future, meeting the challenges of increasing population, climate change, and threats to our agricultural resources by; facilitating transition to the next generation of farm ownership and operation, focusing on opportunities for beginning, socially disadvantaged, and veteran farmers; supporting and expanding conventional plant and animal breeding research and development; scaling up farm conservation and stewardship programs; and focusing rural renewable energy programs on solar, wind, and perennial based biofuels.

Although we know that policy and legislation can be daunting subjects, here at Slow Food USA, we hope to make it as approachable as possible, so that you, our like-minded members and supporters, can also be agents of change during the coming months of Congressional discussion of the 2018 Farm Bill. Look here for a PDF of the full text of our letter to Congress.

In the upcoming months, we will be working to connect Slow Food leaders with their Representatives and Senators about our priorities for the new Farm Bill, as well as highlighting the work of those in our community that would be affected by the Farm Bill. Any questions can be directed to taylor.p@slowfoodusa.org.