The Farm Bill Gets FRESH


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.

The Senate will be debating the Farm Bill throughout the week starting this afternoon. It's still not to late to e-mail your senators to ask them to do the right thing by all of us. ::FRESH Act

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