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Serving: IA

New Ag Legislation Introduced in Congress

Two new bills aim to reform current farm programs.

While discussion on the 2007 Farm Bill heats up in Congress, alternative ag legislation has been proposed in both the House and Senate.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., introduced the Farm, Nutrition, and Community Investment Act in the Senate, a companion to legislation introduced in the House by House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Rep. Rosa DeLauro D-Conn., and Wayne Gilchrest, R-Md.

According to the American Farmland Trust, which is backing the bill, the Farm, Nutrition, and Community Investment Act would increase funding for conservation programs, farmland protection funding, crop insurance, renewable energy and forestry programs.

Meanwhile, Rep. Steve Kagen, D-Wis., Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., introduced the Local Food and Farm Act on Thursday. This bill focuses on nutrition, especially for school-age children and senior citizens. Several groups are backing it, including the American Public Health Association, the Community Food Security Coalition, Trust for America's Health, and the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

"The proposed bill could help the country make tremendous strides in combating the obesity epidemic, from improving school lunches, to enhancing the food stamp program, to providing greater access to affordable fruits and vegetables," says Jeff Levi, director of Trust for America's Health.

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