Every five years or so, the US adopts a new Farm Bill. This massive piece of legislation sets the framework for what we eat, whether our food is nourishing and affordable, what assistance our society provides to feed hungry people, what crops farmers grow under what conditions, global grain and fiber markets, and how rural land is used.
2014 Update: Farm Bill Passes with Mixed Results
Congress adopted The Agricultural Act of 2014 earlier this year. Thanks in part to your advocacy this bill will relink conservation requirements to receipt of crop insurance premiums, a measure that will reduce soil erosion on farmland and protect wetlands. Funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which the House reduced by $40 billion over ten years in their original proposal, has been somewhat restored, resulting in $8.6 billion cut to this vital program. The bill is far from perfect, but your faithful advocacy last year made a big difference in improving this legislation.
Letters to Congress signed by Justice Witness Ministries:
A Faithful Vision for the Farm Bill
From God’s initial command to care for creation to the prophets’ call for justice among governments and nations, people of faith in every age are called together to work for the common good. Inspired by our faith traditions’ commands to care for poor and vulnerable people, we join together to support policies that promote local food security in the U.S. and around the world, strengthen rural communities, and care for the land as God’s creation.
Our nation’s food and farm policies as embodied in the Farm Bill impact people and communities from rural America to developing countries. In the current budget climate, the Farm Bill’s limited resources must be effectively targeted where need is greatest. Programs and policies that curb hunger and malnutrition, support vibrant agricultural economies in rural communities, and promote the sustainable use of natural resources must be prioritized.
Together, we will urge Congress to take the opportunity presented by the reauthorization of the Farm Bill to reduce hunger and poverty in the U.S. and around the world and encourage sustainable stewardship of our resources. To this end, we support the following principles for the Farm Bill: