Learn More About Opportunities to Support the 2023 Farm Bill
- Usually passed every 5 years. Last one in 2018, with projected costs totaling ~ $428 billion. Farm Bill needs to be reauthorized this year, 2023.
- Largest piece of agricultural legislation in the country—sets the stage for future federal investments in agriculture (funding, research, programmatic/grants, regulatory infrastructure).
- 95% of US cropland is covered by the Federal Crop Insurance Program—which speaks to the reach of the Farm Bill.
- Must pass legislation, which means Congress has to pass it.
Twelve titles that cover an array of food and farming issues:
- TITLE I –Commodity Programs
- TITLE II –Conservation
- TITLE III –Trade
- TITLE IV –Nutrition Programs
- TITLE V –Credit
- TITLE VI –Rural Development
- TITLE VII –Research and Related Matters
- TITLE VIII –Forestry
- TITLE IX –Energy
- TITLE X –Horticulture
- TITLE XI –Crop Insurance
- TITLE XII –Miscellaneous
Examples of Farm Bill Opportunities to Support a Just Transition to a Low Carbon Economy
This is a compilation from many partners and is in no way an exhaustive list.
- Protect Conservation Programs:Increase funding for and access to conservation programs that help farmers use climate-beneficial practices including those that improve soil health, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase water conservation & efficiency, and create habitats. Improve cash flow for conservation by giving all FSA borrowers (e.g. farmers) the ability to defer repayment of loans when they invest in soil conservation practices.
- Reform Federal Crop Insurance Programs: Reform federal crop insurance to reward farmers for using practices that build their soil health and reduce their on-farm risk. The COVER Act would offer farmers who plant cover crops a $5-per-acre savings on their crop insurance premiums.
- Increase Access to Land: Increase access to productive farmland, especially for black and historically underserved producers as well as new and young farmers.
- Increase Soil Health Research & Education: Fund technical assistance for growers wanting to transition to organic agriculture as a climate solution. Include organic in climate-smart agriculture programs at USDA.
- Increase Organic Agriculture: Provide technical assistance to growers wanting to transition to organic agriculture as a climate solution. Include organic in new climate-smart agriculture programs at USDA.
- Increase Support for Agroforestry: Fully fund and support the National Agroforestry Center, which coordinates agroforestry work across the country and provides technical assistance. A growing number of farmers are adopting agroforestry–the practice of planting perennial trees, plants, or shrubs on agricultural lands to increase biodiversity, provide another income stream, allow for more carbon sequestration, and protect water quality. The National Agroforestry Center is significantly under-resourced, making it difficult to scale up this climate-beneficial practice on more acres.
- Reduce Food Waste: Reform food labeling programs and improve food recovery and donation programs to reduce food waste and related emissions. Scale up composting—including the processing and distribution of finished compost to farms.
- Packaging/Composting: Support investment in scaling composting such as with the COMPOST Act that intersects with packaging, food waste, and compost creation.
What Businesses Can Do to Get Involved in Farm Bill Advocacy
- Connect with grassroots advocacy organizations like the ones below, that align with your corporations priorities, and ‘sign on’ to their campaigns
- Donate to grassroots advocacy organizations to enable their work
- Call or meet with your representatives
Key Marker Bills:
- Support the COVER Act. Introduced by Rep. Casten, the COVER Act provides farmers with a $5 reduction on their crop insurance premiums for every acre they plant with cover crops. Basically a good driver discount, but for soil health! Add your name to the growing list of supporters nationwide so that Rep. Casten has a strong case to make to add the COVER Act into the Farm Bill.
Sampling of Groups to Follow for Opportunities to Get Involved in The Farm Bill
- American Sustainable Business Network (ASBN)
- Climate Collaborative - Sign up to be on the email list to keep informed of Farm Bill opportunities from many Collaborative partners.
- Land Core - visit www.landcore.org/bill-tracker and see what soil health legislation your representative is supporting
- Regenerate America - sign the petition to tell Congress to support regenerative agriculture in the Farm Bill and help get to 100,000 signatures
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):
- Visit https://www.nrdc.org/resources/advancing-transformative-farm-bill to learn more about what NRDC is doing to advance transformative change in the 2023 Farm Bill.
- Know a chef who wants to be an advocate? Are you a chef who wants to flex your advocacy skills? Click here to learn more about NRDC’s Chefs for Healthy Soil campaign–a network of nationwide chefs who advocate for soil health policies alongside NRDC. https://www.nrdc.org/chefs-healthy-soil
- Help us pass the COVER Act by adding your name as an endorser! Introduced by Rep. Casten, the COVER Act provides farmers with a $5 reduction on their crop insurance premiums for every acre they plant with cover crops. Basically a good driver discount, but for soil health! Add your name to the growing list of supporters nationwide so that Rep. Casten has a strong case to make to add the COVER Act into the Farm Bill.
- Summary of NRDC Policy Recommendations for the Farm Bill
- National Young Farmers Coalition- Sign on to their One Million Acres Campaign.
- National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
- Organic Trade Association (OTA)