Farm Bill Update

We can do something about that!

by Bonnie Lane Weber, Atlantic Chapter Farm & Food Committee

Our Federal Government pays billions of dollars to agribusiness companies who are destroying our environment, our society and our health by setting up CAFOs (Factory Farms) that produce a significant percentage of the greenhouse gasses that create climate change. This seems like a totally ridiculous situation; the government is actually funding the worst crimes against the environment. Why do we accept it?

Every five years, Congress passes legislation that directs nearly $100 billion of federal funds ANNUALLY. It touches conservation, development, subsidies, finances, research, farmers markets, local food programs, SNAP and more; SNAP and other nutrition programs get about 72% of the funds. But the biggest farms, the ones that cause the most pollution and ruin soil, air and water get most of the money distributed to farms. The agribusiness industry has one of the most powerful lobbies in the country. We must speak up! 

Passed every five years, the farm bill is one of the main opportunities for stakeholders to engage in the federal policies that shape our food and agricultural system. Using Farm Bill funds to support regenerative, inclusive, and just agriculture will build a better farm/food/economic system that works for all.

You can start by taking action on the following three issues endorsed by the National Sierra Club. 

Keep money in the Inflation Reduction Act for use by farmers for conservation to address Climate Change in a meaningful way. Money given should not support money for biodigesters!

SUPPORT the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming (OFF) Act, which would restore checkoff program transparency and accountability to ensure these programs work for farmers. America's farmers and ranchers are forced to pay into government checkoff programs that have been hijacked by corporate lobbyists working against farmers' best interests.

OPPOSE the Ending Agricultural Suppression Act (EATS) Act which would "usurp state and local sovereignty and... decimate market opportunities for independent farmers to compete against monopolies like Smithfield,” said Steve Maxwell, a Missouri hog farmer and spokesman for the farmers. Our pigs lead healthier lives than theirs, but we weren't always able to communicate that to consumers. California's Proposition 12 gave farmers an opportunity to compete with the monopolies on more equal footing producing nutritious, high-quality pork.


To find your DC representative go to the NYS Board of Elections site:  - scroll down to a search feature on the left and enter your home address, or by zip code.

Call your Congress person(s) and tell them who you are and ask them to take the following actions which have been introduced in both the House and Senate and are backed by the National Sierra Club

  • INFLATION REDUCTION ACT – protect the $19.5 billion for Agriculture conservation.
  • EATS ACT – OPPOSE  the EATS Act as it is against CA Proposition 12 and would eliminate more than 1000 other local and state issues.
  • OFF ACT – SUPPORT OFF ACT that maintains checkoff but provides transparency so money does not go to fund Big Ag, the enemy of small and medium size farmers.