Blumenauer Statement on Release of House Agriculture Committee Farm Bill
Washington, DC – Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), a leading voice in Congress for Farm Bill reforms, released the following statement on the draft 2018 Farm Bill reauthorization legislation released by House Agriculture Committee Republicans:
“To no one’s surprise, House Agriculture Committee Republicans have failed to reform the Farm Bill to prioritize the needs of America for a FOOD and farm policy, rather than just a select few. This draft gives more to industrial Ag to shortchange family farmers and slash assistance for those who need it most.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. As the legislative process moves along, our resources must be refocused to better helping small- and medium-sized farmers, growing good food, expanding access to nutrition, and protecting the environment.”
In November, Blumenauer introduced a comprehensive alternative Farm Bill. H.R. 4425, the Food and Farm Act, advances Farm Bill reforms based 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.
Blumenauer’s legislation is the result of his “Sing Your Own Farm Bill” project, a multi-year effort to engage a wide variety of stakeholders in creating a more visionary, equitable, and cost-effective Farm Bill. As part of this project, Blumenauer has met with agricultural researchers, farmworkers, nutrition advocates, conservation interests, winemakers, nurseries, wheat growers, small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers, processors, agricultural policy advocates, and more. Together, they have brainstormed how federal agricultural policies could be shaped to better meet everyone’s needs—not just a select few. The Food and Farm Act includes the policy priorities that have grown out of this feedback.