“A lot of times, [members of Congress] say, ‘I didn’t hear from anyone about organic research, so I didn’t include it in my priorities.'”
—Megan DeBates, director of legislative affairs, Organic Trade Association
Part 1: Farm Bill 101: How this legislation drives the country’s food supply
Highlights from Mark Lipson, Organic Farming Research Foundation:
- More than 79 percent of the Farm Bill’s allocation goes to the SNAP program, formerly known as food stamps.
- Organic food programs receive about $1 billion of the more than $954 billion included in the Farm Bill.
Part 2: Organic advocates prioritize their Farm Bill wishes
- Farm Bill priorities from the Plant Based Foods Association (Michele Simon), Organic Trade Association (Megan DeBates), Organic Farming Research Foundation (Mark Lipson) and Berkeley Food Institute (Nina Ichikawa).
- The USDA needs more funding to protect organic farmers and consumers from fraud.
- Publicly funded organic food research drives innovations in the private sector, but more is needed.
Part 3: Everyone in natural foods must make their voices heard
- Engage with your members of Congress and know their positions before the midterm elections.
- The food industry is one of the biggest economic drivers in the country, affecting both rural and urban areas.
Part 4: The Farm Bill will fail without bipartisan support
- Nutrition and agriculture come together, supporting low-income residents in rural and urban areas.
- Republicans and Democrats will fight over the Farm Bill until the last minute.
Part 5: Audience members ask about Big Food, conservation research
- Big Food companies are buying organic startups, so they care about research and assistance programs.
This session—Farm Bill 2018: What You Need to Know—was recorded at Natural Products Expo West 2018. Click download to access the presentation slides.