Leading the charge to reform our food system

August 6, 2018

I am writing with an update on the Farm Bill — legislation that impacts health care, climate change, economic development, and the food we eat.

Our current agriculture policies pay too much to the wrong people to grow the wrong food in the wrong places. Right now, Congress is working to finalize the next Farm Bill — and we are on track to miss a critical opportunity to provide the American people with desperately-needed reforms.

In my opinion, after struggling to get a bill off the ground, House Republican leadership finally cobbled together the votes to pass what I view as a monstrous piece of legislation. The House Farm Bill would hurt family farmers and ranchers, vulnerable communities, and the environment. Meanwhile, the Senate decided to do more of the status quo, continuing lavish subsidies for corporate megafarms at the expense of small farmers and our natural resources. Now, the House and Senate are working to finalize a bill that will become law.

As the debate continues, I wanted to share with you a useful presentation from The National Journal, one of the local “Capitol Hill rags,” on this complex piece of legislation. This guide includes a comprehensive overview of the Farm Bill’s current political state of affairs. It even highlights my work with Michael Pollan to draft an alternative Farm Bill, the Food and Farm Act, which would reform our nation’s agriculture system to put food first.

As The National Journal points out, we are “leading the left’s opposition to the current Farm Bill structure.” My bill advances reforms on four principles: (1) focusing resources on those who need it most; (2) fostering innovation; (3) encouraging investments in people and the planet; and (4) ensuring access to healthy foods.

It’s my hope that Congress will go back to the drawing board and put forward the reforms our food and farm system actually needs, like those I’ve outlined in our bill. The stakes are too high to fail once again.