Photo credit: feaverish
A glimmer of hope in the Farm Bill saga: Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) have proposed a Farm Bill reform called the Farm, Ranch, Equity, Stewardship and Health (FRESH) Act, which would end billions of depression-era federal crop subsidies, while expanding free crop insurance to farmers earning less than $250,000 a year.
Unlike the current system—which benefits mostly Midwestern corporate agribusiness, produces surplus commodity exports that distort domestic and foreign agricultural markets, and makes us all fat—the proposed bill would be a boon to all farmers, regardless of the crops they grow or where they farm. Under the Lugar-Lautenberg bill, more cash would go to land conservation, hunger relief efforts, and support a wider range of healthier foods. Plus over five years, these reforms would create more than $16 billion in additional savings that would be available for reinvesting in our food system.