Michigan Land Use Institute

Food & Farming / News & Views / Our View: While not perfect, Farm Bill is a step in the right direction

Our View: While not perfect, Farm Bill is a step in the right direction

Sen. Stabenow deserves recognition for her work

Farm Bill | February 6, 2014 | By Diane Conners

Farm Bill Opinions


Be sure to check out these links for more information and opinion on the passage of the Farm Bill. 

 

► National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's 2014 Farm Bill Drill Down: NSAC is doing a seven-part series here on our blog that delves into the details of the bill for sustainable food and farming systems.

 

► NSAC: What is in the 2014 Farm Bill For Sustainable Farms and Food Systems?

 

Farm Bill Resource Center (via Sen. Stabenow)

 

Sen. Stabenow Press Release: "The bill represents rare bipartisan agreement on a major jobs bill, legislation that will help grow Michigan's agriculture economy, the state's second-largest industry."
 

Recent Posts

Agriculture Forum: Food & Farming Network Summit shares stories

Food and Farming Network | April 17, 2015 | By Meghan McDermott

In Emmet County, a baker has found a nearby farmer to grow bread-quality wheat. Schools are serving more locally grown food. The Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District is supporting teachers in farm-to-school and school-garden curriculum so that students learn reading, math and science while learning to love eating healthy food. These were just a few of the stories shared recently at the seventh annual Northwest Michigan Food & Farming Network Summit....

Guest View: Wind Works in Michigan

Wind power | February 10, 2015 | By Liesl Clark

The wind industry has come a long way in Michigan. Since the passage of a comprehensive energy statute in 2008 that included Michigan’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)—10 percent renewable energy from all the state’s utilities by 2015—costs have dropped at a remarkable rate....

Taste the Local Difference to Produce Magazine with 'Traverse'

TLD | February 3, 2015 | By MyNorth

New this year, MyNorth Media, publishers of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine, will produce Michigan Land Use Institute’s Taste the Local Difference as a magazine that combines the utility of the previous maps with fascinating stories and stunning photography of the Northern Michigan food scene....

Diane Conners

Sen. Debbie Stabenow worked tirelessly to do something rare in this Congress—actually get some work done by passing a bipartisan piece of legislation with the Farm Bill. One disappointing part of this entire, excruciatingly dragged out process is that the bills passed more than a year ago by the full Senate and the House agriculture committee contained more progressive measures than the one that is now headed for President Obama's signature in East Lansing on Friday.  

Astonishingly, the House leadership decided not to bring its own agriculture committee bill up for a vote at that time, leaving American farmers in limbo for yet another year.

While there are measures we wish would have made it to the final bill that has just been passed, we're pleased that it includes renewal of funding for programs that only started to see serious funding in the 2008 Farm Bill—renewable energy, beginning farmers, organic farming, local food economies, and support for farmers who grow the food we really need to eat, fruit and vegetables. The bill also includes a new farm to school pilot program to explore fruit and vegetable purchasing alternatives in eight states. 

While many members of the House wanted to separate SNAP spending (food stamps) from the Farm Bill, it is instead preserved there. And the links between what people need for nourishment and what farmers grow and can make a living at growing is strengthened by the inclusion of funding for programs like Double Up Food Bucks, which in Michigan is doubling the money of SNAP recipients when they spend their food assistance at farmers markets.

While still a small slice of the Farm Bill spending, it is a positive direction, and those who pitched in by writing letters or speaking out in some way should know they made a difference and that we have something to build on.

When President Obama visits Michigan on Friday to sign the Farm Bill, we will be focused on that progress forward, and on Sen. Stabenow's deserved recognition for solidifying a more expansive reflection of agriculture in our country.

3 Comments

966 days ago, 8:19am | by Mike Davis | Report Comment

Good article (as always), Diane. We have a long way to go....

965 days ago, 11:18am | by Tom Traverse | Report Comment

Glad to see that these are still included in Farm Bill - renewable energy, beginning farmers, organic farming, local food economies, and support for farmers who grow the food we really need to eat, fruit and vegetables. The bill also includes a new farm to school pilot program to explore fruit and vegetable purchasing alternatives in eight states. 

960 days ago, 10:56am | by Sue Lannin | Report Comment

Thanks for the update on the new Farm Bill. I'm glad to hear that local & regional food systems, beginning farmers, organic agriculture, specialty crops & research are funded. However, we should all be concerned that for the first time since the 1980's funds for conservation programs were not increased, but cut significantly.

Search Archives

Michigan Land Use Institute

148 E. Front Street, Suite 301
Traverse City, MI 49684-5725
p (231) 941-6584 
e comments@mlui.org