Congress is already getting to work writing the 2018 Farm Bill. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s An Agenda for the 2018 Farm Bill is a blueprint for positive change. It reflects the real, urgent needs of farmers, ranchers, and communities across the country.
NSAC’s 2018 Farm Bill platform will advance opportunity, equity and stewardship and create a better future for family farms. Learn more about key components of the platform and action opportunities below.
Nearly 100 million acres of farmland (enough to support nearly 250,000 family farms) are set to change hands over the next five years – during the course of our next farm bill. To keep our agricultural economy strong, we need to facilitate the transfer of skills, knowledge, and land between current and future generations of family farmers. Good news – there’s a bill in Congress right now intended for inclusion in the 2018 Farm Bill that will help! The Beginning Farmer & Rancher Opportunity Act will build:
Consumer demand for local and regional products is on the rise, and this growing interest in the “farm to fork” pipeline is helping to open new markets and economic opportunities to farmers and food producers across the nation. Despite this growing consumer demand, many would-be food and farm entrepreneurs struggle to enter the local/regional marketplace. By helping to connect the dots between producers and local customers (including individuals, institutions, and others), farmers and families both benefit. Good news – there’s a bill in Congress right now intended for inclusion in the 2018 Farm Bill that will help! The Local Food and Regional Market Supply Act (Local FARMS Act) will build:
The benefits of on-farm conservation are widespread and far reaching – they help to ensure cleaner drinking water for our urban and rural communities, more robust habitats for wildlife, and farm operations that are sustainable long-term. Empowering farmers with the skills, resources, and training to take on the challenges that come with stewardship is critical for ensuring our farms and food supply are resilient and healthy. Conservation is a win-win investment that protects and enhances our shared natural resources and bolsters farmers’ bottom line.
In agriculture, biological diversity is key to ensuring success: having a variety of well-adapted crops not only reduces the impacts of extreme weather, pests, and disease, it also protects against price fluctuations in the market. Today, however, we are increasingly losing diversity where it counts the most – our seed stocks. By supporting public plant breeding research, we can better ensure that all farmers have access to high performing, locally adapted seeds – no matter where they farm or what they grow.
Because of the important role farming plays in our lives and in our economy, it is in the public interest to help protect farmers against risk. There are many approaches to managing risk, including crop, enterprise, and market diversification and investing in soil health and conservation. Federal crop insurance is an important cornerstone of the farm safety net, but it must be improved to better serve all of America’s farmers equitably and to use our tax dollars more efficiently.
If you care about getting healthy food to everyone, protecting our natural resources, and supporting the next generation of American farmers, then you’ll want to get involved this year!