Maine Representative Chellie Pingree is celebrating the inclusion of several local food and farm provisions in the Senate version of the Farm Bill. The House Agriculture Committee is expected to start work on the bill in July.
Despite the fact that it is enormously expensive and influential, few people understand what the Farm Bill actually does. Essentially, it dictates American food policy; in addition to subsidizing agri-business (or family farms), the Farm Bill also controls food-stamp spending and school lunch programs.
The Senate version of the Farm Bill includes the following, all of which were part of
the Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act, introduced by Pingree
last year in the House: