A new group called the Farm and Food Policy Project released a report Monday calling for balanced changes in the 2007 Farm Bill.
The report, titled "Seeking Balance in U.S. Farm and Food Policy," pushes for a broad range of issues in the next farm bill, from helping young and beginning farmers to aiding cooperative conservation partnerships. The breadth of the report reflects the diversity of organizations involved in the project, an alliance of family farm, rural, conservation, sustainable and organic agriculture, anti-hunger, nutrition, faith-based, public health and other groups.
"It's unprecedented for organizations with such diverse interests – many of whom have not been involved in the farm bill debate in the past – to come together like this. But it's not surprising if you start with the idea that the farm bill shapes the food system that we all depend on, and sets important parts of our nation's rural, nutrition, environmental and energy policies. Since the farm bill impacts all of us – farmers, consumers, taxpayers, and citizens – we need more, not fewer, voices at the table," says Allen Hance, Farm and Food Policy Project coordinator, in a FFPP release.
Organization leaders spoke on nutrition, conservation, and sustainability at a press announcement.
"There are a tremendous number of unmet needs related to agriculture and food, and the best program ideas are desperate for funding," says American Farmland Trust president Ralph Grossi. "Innovative programs that expand new markets for local, regional and value-added products will increase access to healthier and more sustainably produced foods; and provide tools offering farmers and ranchers real economic opportunities."
The Farm and Food Policy Project's policy statement and recommendations can be viewed at www.farmandfoodproject.org.