Community Philosphy Blog and Library

HOMEGROWN Life: We Have a Farm Bill. Finally.

 

HOMEGROWN-life-bryce-logo-150x150The Senate passed a farm bill on Tuesday that President Obama is expected to sign at the end of the week. Sure, it’s a couple of years late. And it doesn’t make sweeping changes to the way farm programs work. It doesn’t prioritize and fund innovation through local food system development and conservation to the degree that many of us would prefer. It doesn’t do much to tackle some of the biggest issues faced by our society today, problems like obesity and climate change. It’s just not that great of a legislative accomplishment.

The cynic in me wants to say, “Well, what do you expect? It’s Washington, after all. We’re lucky they even got something passed.”

And there’s a lot of reality to that way of thinking. The farm bill could be much worse. They could have cut the nutrition funding for low-income and struggling families by $40 billion, like the House of Representatives voted to do a few months back. They could have dismantled country-of-origin labeling implementation for food products. They could have cut conservation programs even more. They could have eliminated meaningful programs that fund entrepreneurship, growth of cooperatives, and rural community infrastructure.

I know that politics is the art of the possible. I know that change and reform are both rare and difficult to achieve.

But still, it’s frustrating. It’s frustrating to know that this is the best we can do for the crucial piece of policy and funding that will govern farm and nutrition programs for the next five years. It’s frustrating to understand that so many “leaders” feel like low-income families shouldn’t get a helping hand when they’re struggling to put food on their tables.

I do want to say that there is active and thriving grassroots movement out there that’s trying to improve things with respect to federal farm and food policy. We’ve even got some national and Beltway cred. There’s Farm Aid, the National Family Farm Coalition, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the Rural Coalition. These organizations and others do the hard work of laying out a very different vision for federal farm programs.

In the political climate we’re in right now, I’d urge you all to say thank you to these groups for making sure the farm bill did have as many good things in it as it does.

I’d also urge you to stay informed and active. These issues are not going away. Maybe we can get to work and broaden our movement, gearing up for another farm bill a few years down the road. If we’re going to get something meaningful, we’ve got a lot of work to do in the meantime.

HOMEGROWN-life-Bryce-OatesBryce Oates is a farmer, father, writer, and conservationist in West Missouri. He lives and works on his family’s multigenerational farm, tending cattle, sheep, goats, and organic vegetables. His goals in life are simple: to wake up before the sun, catch a couple of fish, turn the compost pile, dig potatoes, and sit by the fire in the evening, watching the fireflies mimic the stars.

4 Responses to “HOMEGROWN Life: We Have a Farm Bill. Finally.”

  1. Dolores Flanagan Says:

    Thanks for such a reasonable response to the Farm Bill. I’m seeing a lot of very polarized commentary and am happy to find yours this morning.
    The work that the Farmer Veteran Coalition (farmvetco.org) has done (with the help of Farm Aid) to get provisions in the Farm Bill that aid the transition of veterans into farming deserves recognition, it’s a huge achievement that is being overlooked in all the braying about how bad the farm bill is.

  2. Thanks for finally talking about > http://www.HOMEGROWN.org

  3. I got this web site from my buddy who shared with me on the topic of this site and now
    this time I am browsing this site and reading very informative articles here.

  4. This of course can have two reactions from the sufferer:
    feeling ridiculous and feeling slighted. This is just to give you a little push, there are other techniques but use this for now.
    Organic chemistry could be a rather difficult subject to crack,
    but it is so important you need to get by way of it to be able
    to go forward in your college education. But students find it difficult to handle both
    the topics at the same time and hence fail to live up to the expectation of the teacher.
    While this may cause a temporary high, the actions he takes will be short lived because the hormones and the daily
    feeling of irritability, depression, fatigue, hot flashes
    and decreased libido do not go away unless you treat the source, the hormones.
    It is an experimental fact that most of the process including chemical reactions
    when carried out in a closed vessel do not go to completion Under these conditions a process starts by
    itself or by initiation continues for some time at diminishing
    rate and ultimately appears to stop the reactants may still be present but they do not appear to
    change into products any more. That said,
    it was a wonderful resource for us and one I
    happily recommend. I’ve searched them out again and found
    new sources and even more songs.

Leave a Reply

*