For most of this year, Congress has been debating what to include in the 2007 Farm Bill, but there is still time for you to contact your legislators and have an influence. This opportunity to shape what food is grown, how it is grown, who grows it, and who can afford to eat it only comes around once every 5 years! Farm Bill policy is controversial and it helps to understand why.
Food & Water Watch’s Farm Bill 101 provides an easy-to-read 1-page history of the development of farm bill policy.It is important to understand the difference between “commodity” crops (corn, wheat, oats, rice, cotton, soybeans) and “specialty” crops (fruits and vegetables). For many years, the farm bill has provided loans and subsidies for commodity crops that are not available for specialty crops. These commodity crop subsidies are the source of many years of farm bill controversy.