The US government has until September 30, 2023 to pass a new Farm Bill, so it’s time to begin raising our voices about the kind of food and agriculture we want for our towns, states and country — a food system that is equitable and sustainable! One that ensures the right to food for all and supports the workers and farmers who feed us!
With that goal in mind, we’ve created the 2023 Eater’s Guide to the Farm Bill in collaboration with the Food in Neighborhoods Community Coalition in Louisville, Ky. It is complete with questions you can ask your local, state or federal candidates and sitting civil servants.
Hot off the press, you can download the Guide by clicking on this button and begin using it with your congregation and others in your community.
Should we rename the Farm Bill?
This hard-working bill covers everything—from crop insurance to community food projects, from Meals on Wheels and SNAP (food stamps) to energy, conservation, and international food aid. Calling it the Food Bill would at least pique the curiosity of those that eat!
No matter what it is called, though, as disciples of a loving God, we are called upon to care for poor and vulnerable people and urge Congress to reform the Farm Bill so that it reduces hunger and poverty in the U.S. and around the world. We call for strengthening rural communities, supporting farmworkers, farmers and all who work in the food system, and caring for the land as God’s creation.
Principles of a Fair Farm Bill
Our nation’s food and farm policies as embodied in the Farm Bill impact people and communities from rural America to urban neighborhoods to small farmers across the globe. In the current budget climate, the Farm Bill’s resources must be effectively targeted where need is greatest. Sustainable programs and policies that curb hunger and malnutrition and support vibrant agricultural economies must be prioritized.
As citizens, we are called upon – each of us – to urge Congress to take the opportunity presented by the reauthorization of the Farm Bill to reduce hunger and poverty in the U.S. and around the world and encourage sustainable stewardship of soil, land, water, and air. To this end, we support the following principles and subsequent platform for reform of the Farm Bill:
- Protect and strengthen programs that reduce hunger and improve nutrition in the United States.
- Promote investments, loan programs and policies that strengthen rural communities and combat rural poverty.
- Ensure that farmers in the U.S. and around the world receive fair prices so they can sustain their farms and their livelihoods.
- Ensure that crop insurance and other programs include payment limitations and rules giving equitable access to small- and medium-scale farmers.
- Strengthen policies and programs that promote conservation, reduce carbon emissions, and protect creation from environmental degradation.
- Protect the dignity, health, safety, and fair compensation of those responsible for working the land.
- Promote research and incentives related to clean, and renewable forms of energy that do not negatively impact food prices or the environment.
- Safeguard and improve international food aid in ways that encourage local food security and improve the nutritional quality of food aid.
- Advocate for policies that honor treaties and land claims by Indigenous Peoples, support farmers and food chain workers of color, and promote food sovereignty everywhere.
Platform for a Fair Farm Bill
- Strengthen food security and regional food systems
- Equitable access to resources and land
- Land, environment, and climate justice
- Protect food chain workers, producers and farmers
- Strengthen food sovereignty everywhere