Our Favorite Sources for Quality Farm Bill Analysis
The farm bill is as complicated and dense as it is important. The version of the 2018 Farm Bill that’s currently moving its way through Congress is no exception. Updated every five years, the farm bill is subject to a flurry of lobbying on every title (the legalese term for “section”). Whether you’re located in rural areas or urban centers, the topics covered in the farm bill affect everyone in the United States. It affects the cost of our groceries, the welfare of impoverished people and their access to food, nutrition standards for public school lunches and the wellbeing of our environment — everyone has a stake in the outcome of this legislation.
Understanding the issues and knowing where your representatives stand on the ones you care about is critical to ensuring your priorities get attention and everyone gets the support they deserve.
Staying informed about such a legal behemoth is no easy task, so we put together a list of our favorite sources for quality analysis of the 2018 Farm Bill so you know where to look as the farm bill progresses. Plus, we organized them by what you’re into and how you like to get your food policy news.
Big Time Food Policy Nerds Who Want the Play by Play:
- Politico: You can sign up for their Morning Agriculture updates and really dive into the details as they unfold on a daily basis. You’ll be inundated, but always in the know.
- Food Policy Action: This organization is built to hold legislators accountable for their record on food and farming. To see how where your local representatives stand on food issues, check out their Food Policy Action Scorecard.
- Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School: The Center’s Director, Laurie Ristino, is a legal and policy expert on the farm bill conservation title. You can read her take on the farm bill at the Center for Progressive Reform’s blog.
People Who Like Their Food News Short and Snappy:
- New Food Economy: The Farm Bill in 500 words or less. Exceptional independent and unbiased journalism focused entirely on current events in food. They’ll talk about the Farm Bill in language you can understand, and they do it sparingly.
- Rural Advancement Foundation International: RAFI cultivates markets, policies, and communities that support thriving, socially just, and environmentally sound family farms. You can get their quick take on the latest draft of the farm bill (hint: NOT GOOD) by looking at their Farm Bill Scorecard.
People Who Want Their News With a Side of ACTION:
- Food & Water Watch: A public interest organization that advocates for healthy food and clean water. Follow for actions you can take.
- National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition: An alliance of grassroots organizations advocating for the improvement of sustainability in agriculture, natural resources and food systems. Laser focused on food policy. (And to learn more about the history of the farm bill, visit this great overview from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.)
Let’s face it: the farm bill is no page-turner. But these organizations are the top bananas in making food policy digestible and engaging. It’s our job to stay informed (and then to vote!) so get your reading glasses on and get ready to care about the 2018 Farm Bill.