Ketofast Ketofast

ADVERTISEMENT

Help Shape the Next Farm Bill!

If ever you wanted a voice in how U.S. federal funds are spent supporting farming, now is your chance. In a rare opportunity August 30 in Decatur, Illinois, citizens will have the opportunity to give the House Agricultural Committee their ideas on the Farm Bill’s revisions. The Illinois Stewardship Alliance, which promotes wholesome food, fair practices and healthy ecosystems, is asking people to RSVP if you’re planning to attend. If you can’t attend, the Alliance will send you information so you can contact your local House Representative with your thoughts.

Finally, someone is actually asking the public for a firsthand opinion on how the Farm Bill programs work — or don’t! The Farm Bill sets agricultural and food policy guidelines for the next five years. Included in it are highly controversial subsidy “insurance” programs designed to shore up losses that farmers suffer from disasters. Initially, the bill was created during the Great Depression to help farmers feed the nation. But since then it’s become an albatross that needs substantive changes, beginning with how crop “insurance” works.

I put “insurance” in quotes because history has shown that not everybody gets to share in that insurance, even if they have it. For example, Kansas regenerative farmer Gail Fuller experienced this firsthand, when his federally funded crop insurance company denied his six-figure claim for compensation during the 2012 drought. Their basis was Fuller's use of cover crops, which the company requires be killed off before the cash crop is planted. High winds prevented Fuller from doing so. He took the case to court and was eventually given the payment, but there's still a perception among farmers that using cover crops — which are key to regenerative, organic agriculture — could put their insurance payments at risk.

Another problem is confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), which are nothing but industrialized agriculture and harmful to both the environment and food security. Even though CAFOs are touted as the answer to world hunger, to survive, they literally eat up federal farm subsidies, tax credits, crop insurance, price supports and disaster payments.

I speak out often in favor of regenerative agriculture, which has proven that genetically-engineered crops and CAFOs are NOT necessary to feed the world. The worth of regenerative agriculture has proven itself time and again, but since the 1970s, farm policies have overwhelmingly favored industrialized food production, which is a recipe for disaster. It is for this reason that I encourage you to help change the tide, and answer this Congressional call for your ideas on the next farm bill. If you can’t attend, I understand. But please RSVP so you can find out how to contact your representative in a letter or phone call.
Click Here and be the first to comment on this article
Post your comment