Every five years, Congress reauthorizes the Farm Bill, a comprehensive piece of legislation that influences every part of the food and agriculture system of our nation. The current farm bill was signed into law in 2014 and will expire on Sept. 30, 2018. Congressional review and debate on the next farm bill began in early 2017 and continues in earnest to complete draft language by spring or summer of this year, followed by House and Senate floor votes before the September 2018 deadline.
As we have done for the past several farm bills since the 1980s, Catholic Rural Life engages in advocacy efforts to support farm bill policies that advance the sustainability of agriculture, distribution of nutritious foods, and conservation of natural resources. Federal policies can also help create or invigorate opportunities for family farms and the next generation of farmers, especially those that face economic or social disadvantages.
Without the advocacy efforts of faith-based and sustainable agriculture groups, the farm bill would bend to corporate interests and “Big Ag” enthusiasts, usually to the detriment of smaller-scale farms, rural communities and the environment. So our work is crucial for a sustainable future and a dignified life for all farmers, ranchers and farmworkers.
As a member of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, CRL is committed to collaborating with many partners and groups across the country. We encourage our network and visitors to our site to also follow closely the policy proposals and advocacy efforts of the Coalition.
So please check back regularly as 2018 moves along. This site will provide updates, materials and other resources to help shape a fair, just and sensible Farm Bill for the coming five years.