The 2012 Farm Bill

The 2012 Farm Bill

The 2012 Farm Bill is fast approaching and anyone in the nutrition field will want to keep an eye on this legislation. The Farm Bill is the primary agricultural and food policy tool of the federal government. Congress reconsiders the Farm Bill every five years, with the last Farm Bill passed in 2008 (formally known as the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008).

The Farm Bill encompasses commodity programs, conservation programs, trade, food and nutrition, rural development, farm credit, agricultural research, and the forest service. Many people don’t realize that the majority of Farm Bill spending (about 67%) is for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps). Another 15% goes to commodity programs, and 18% for the remaining programs.

The nutrition title, Title IV, includes SNAP, Food Distribution Programs – The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, Fruit and Vegetable Promotion, School Meal Issues, Child Nutrition and Related Programs, and miscellaneous provisions.

For more information about current Farm Bill programs:
2008 Farm Bill – Public Law 110-246

The 2008 law. Title IV: Nutrition is found in Section 4000.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service
Title IV: Nutrition provisions. A side-by-side comparison of the 2008 Farm Bill with the previous legislation of 2002. Does not include every provision, just the key provisions.
Getting ready for Farm Bill 2012:

What is the “Farm Bill”?
Written by Renée Johnson and Jim Monke, Specialists in Agricultural Policy, for the Congressional Research Service, December 2010.
House Committee on Agriculture
July 22, 2011 hearing on Farm Bill Nutrition Programs
Subcommittee Examines Largest Portion of Farm Bill Budget: Nutrition Programs

Hearing Announcement

Hearing Press Release

Ms. Audrey Rowe, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.