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The 2012 Farm (Harm?) Bill

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Originally Posted: April 24, 2012

The 2012 Farm (Harm?) Bill

FROM A Well-Fed World

ACTION

The Senate Agriculture Committee just released its draft of the 2012 Farm Bill. It's time to voice your support for food and farm policies that maximize well-being for people, the planet, and animals. Message: "I'm a constituent and I'm calling to ask you to reduce commodity subsidies in favor of subsidies that support fresh fruits and vegetables."

Contact your U.S. Senators
http://www.senate.gov/
 
Contact your U.S. Representative
http://www.house.gov/ 

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

Due the enormity and complexity of the Farm Bill, A Well-Fed World will provide overview materials for informative purposes, while targeting our efforts on the benefits of redirecting subsidies away from animal feed and towards fresh produce for people.

1st --> Reducing Commodity/Feed Subsidies

Reducing the massive subsidies to large-scale feed crops significantly increases the cost of meat, dairy, eggs and other animal-based products. The government provides about $20 billion every year in direct farm subsidies. Feed grains (mostly corn) account for the largest share of farm subsidy support, more than double the next commodity crop.

2nd --> Increasing Subsidies for Fresh Produce

The next step is advocating that subsidies be redirected towards fresh produce (thus lower the prices). This benefits SNAP (the food stamps program), the general public, producers, and farm workers if applied fairly.

We support weighted subsidies that provide greater assistance to smaller-scale, eco-friendly producers while minimizing payments to large-scale, monoculture producers.

Farm Bill Facts

Fact: The government provides about $20 billion every year in direct farm subsidies.

Fact: Feed grains (mostly corn) account for the largest share of farm subsidy support, more than double the next commodity crop.

Fact: In the United States, 3/5 of farmers don't get any subsidy payments, while the richest 5% average $470,000 each.

Fact: The Natural Resources Conservation Service reports that nearly two billion tons of cropland soil is still lost and less than 10% of the USDA budget is linked to conservation practices.

Fact: Of the conservation practices that are funded, clean-up of factory farming pollution is included (so tax payers bear the cost instead of the agribusinesses that are causing the pollution).

Fact: Only 2% of children (2-19 years old) meet the five federal requirements for a healthy diet. Although certain calories are cheaper than others, these foods are usually lacking any nutritional benefit, and are contributing to the growing malnutrition epidemics in the U.S. and globally.

What's the Breakdown?

The 2008 Farm Bill was divided into 15 titles, with 97-99% of the funding split between four categories:


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