The Farm Bill sets the nation’s food, nutrition and agriculture policy agenda. It’s generally a five-year bill. The overdue legislation that is being negotiated in Congress expired in 2012 and its provisions have been retained through continuing resolutions. The new Farm Bill was expected to receive a final vote shortly after Congress returned to session, but negotiations have stalled.
While the focus has been on the partial federal government shut down, another important piece of legislation, the federal Farm Bill, has also expired. New York’s lead lobbyist for farmers is in Washington meeting with congressional representatives and their staffs trying to figure out what to do next.
It’s not just the government that shut down today. Congress has failed to act on the Farm Bill extension, which expired at midnight, and some are concerned that will add to economic uncertainty, especially in the dairy sector.
By 10 on a recent Saturday morning, the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market was already busy. The market partners with SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. Open Saturdays, the farmers market takes place at the convergence of River and Third Streets in downtown Troy, an area that, like many urban centers, features more convenience stores and eateries than markets. Shoppers looking for an alternative to otherwise limited options can find organic fruits, vegetables and herbs, locally-produced meat, fish, and dairy, in addition to prepared foods from neighborhood businesses,
The U.S. House on Thursday passed a “farm only” farm bill that removed the major provisions of the bill - its nutrition programs. Vermont Congressman Peter Welch says both food and farm security has been compromised.