Farm Bill Proposals Move Forward: URGENT ACTION IS NEEDED

Posted on May 22, 2024 by Alicia Alferman

Update from NSAC: “NSAC is encouraged to be one step closer to a new farm bill. The Farm, Food, and National Security Act approved by the House Agriculture Committee, however, remains fundamentally unchanged, falling short of meeting our members’ key priorities. We look forward to continuing to work with the House and Senate Agriculture Committees toward a genuinely bipartisan farm bill with a viable path to becoming law.”

Cultivate KC would like to thank Representative Sharice Davids for voting no and standing up for a strong, bipartisan Farm Bill to meet the needs of farmers and community members in the third district of Kansas.

Cultivate Kansas City is concerned by last Friday’s release of the House Agriculture Committee Chairman G.T. Thompson’s (R-PA) partisan Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024 (FFNSA), which is scheduled to be marked up in the House Agriculture Committee this Thursday, May 23. At a high level, this bill dramatically increases subsidies for commodity agriculture, while taking no meaningful action to further invest in small and mid-sized farmers, climate resilience, local and regional food systems, and people facing food insecurity across the country.  

To pay for the increased subsidies, the FFNSA moves funding between farm bill titles and simultaneously relies on at least two provisions to generate additional funding. The assumed savings of these measures are likely massively overestimated and will create immense challenges in the future, all to pay for programs that benefit the wealthiest 0.3 percent of farms. The bill also removes climate change targeting restrictions on roughly $13 billion in conservation funding from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which allows for those funds to be redirected into less impactful conservation programs. For a more detailed analysis of the FFNSA, we encourage you to read the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) press release here 

In contrast, earlier this month the Senate Agriculture Committee released a detailed outline of a farm bill proposal that marked an important step towards completing a bipartisan farm bill reauthorization this year. The Rural Prosperity and Food Security Act of 2024 (RPFSA) protects conservation and climate funding, strengthens access to the farm safety net, invests in local and regional food systems, fully protects nutrition assistance programs, and includes many bipartisan priorities. NSAC offers a deep dive on the RPFSA outline here.  

Cultivate KC is discouraged to see partisan politics standing in the way of advancing a bipartisan farm bill that substantially supports farmers of all scales, both urban and rural, in operating successful and sustainable businesses to feed our community and provides access to food to those who need it most. We stand with our partners at NSAC in calling for a bipartisan farm bill that makes the farm safety net more accessible to all, that builds – and doesn’t take away from – resources that can help farmers voluntarily build resilience to the impacts of climate change, and that invests in local and regional food systems.  

We see this as a critical farm bill to aggressively address climate change and strengthen support for the diversified farmers and local food system we work with throughout the Kansas City region. We know that thriving local farmers are key to a resilient local food system and want to see a farm bill that invests in them more equitably. We ask you to join in calling our local members of Congress who are on the House Agriculture Committee, Representative Sharice Davids (KS-03) and Representative Mark Alford (MO-04), to oppose this highly partisan bill in support of a bipartisan bill.  

Take Action Today to Oppose the Bad House Farm Bill!