The final five-year farm bill, an $867 billion package titled the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, passed Congress in a bipartisan show of support and was signed into law by President Trump on December 20.
Our biggest takeaway is this: in a time of farm crisis, this farm bill will not right the ship.
There’s a whole lot of good, bad and ugly in the bill, but our biggest takeaway is this: in a time of farm crisis, this farm bill will not right the ship. The future of family farm agriculture requires a dramatic shift in policy towards fair pricing, supply management programs, cracking down on corporate goliaths and accelerated attention to the climate crisis. By those standards, this farm bill fails. That said, farmers and ranchers cannot wait another day for the programs that ended when the last farm bill expired on September 30. The time is now to get them back up and running!
This whirlwind timeline robbed advocates of time for analysis or action (surely by design), but here are some of the highlights in our priority areas (a huge shout out to our friends at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and Rural Coalition for helping us sift through the language). Check out Farm Aid’s Take in our Understanding the Farm Bill Hub for more details on how we got here.