Farm and Food Bill on the Senate Floor

The Senate began consideration of a farm and food bill yesterday. The biggest issues on the threshing floor of the Senate is separating wheat from chaff between Northern and Southern farmers over safety net programs and the question of costs for the federal food stamp program, which makes up about 80 percent of the $100 billion in the legislation’s annual budget.

In addition to making fundamental changes in the way the government protects food growers during hard times, the farm and food bill is expected to increase funding for many programs that support community food security.

Some of those changes include:

  • Community Food Projects Program: Doubling mandatory funding to $10 million per year
  • Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program: Expanding Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) to include developing food hubs and doubling funding to $20 million in mandatory funding per year for five years

Important amendments that will be offered include:

  • Farmers and Ranchers Program (Section 2501) and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP)
  • Support funding for rural development programs that build local food system infrastructure
  • Support for Farm to School initiatives.

The current farm and food act expires in September.

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