Today @ 10:30AM (PT): Watch My Forum “A Call for Reform: Fix the Farm Bill” Live
Next year, Congress will once again take up the Farm Bill – a massive piece of legislation governing U.S. agricultural policies that is debated every five years. The Farm Bill affects everything from human health to the environment, from our national debt to the price of a gallon of milk. I’ve long argued that it is one of the most important bills that Congress regularly considers.
Time and time again, I’ve watched big agriculture businesses dominate Farm Bill negotiations, with the voices of those who care about small and mid-sized farmers, conservation, research, and healthy food drowned out. Frustrated by the process, I’ve spent the past two years asking Oregon’s farmers and ranchers, people in health care, nutrition, conservation, food processing and distribution, local government, and education, what they think the Farm Bill should look like. I may have even spoken to you.
There is clear consensus that Congress really can do better when it comes to our nation’s food policy, but that it will require a stronger, more unified approach.
Today, I’m holding a forum on Capitol Hill with a broad range of experts and stakeholders, including food policy advocates, environmentalists, fiscal conservatives, animal welfare supporters, and a keynote address by author Michael Pollan, to speak out and call for reform. We don’t want another status-quo Farm Bill. Together, this broad coalition will work to put our nation's food policy back on track.
This event also coincides with our introduction of an alternative Farm Bill, the Food and Farm Act. My bill follows four key principles to reforming our nation’s food policies – focusing resources on those who need it most, fostering innovation, encouraging investments in people and the planet, and ensuring access to healthy foods. The legislation gets rid of certain expensive and inefficient subsidy programs so they can’t be abused by wealthy agribusinesses. It also doubles funding to support environmental protection, invests in helping new and socially disadvantaged farmers, and ensures animals are more humanely treated.
I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation in the coming months to make sure that Congress sets a food and farm policy that works for everyone.
Member of Congress