The 2018 Farm Bill is a massive piece of legislation that will affect us all in important ways. Many organizations, including NOFA, have analyzed it in detail. Links to some excellent summaries follow. Right now, the conference process is underway to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the bill ahead of the September 30 deadline. The effects of this bill will be with us for years, so it is crucial that you let your federal government representatives know where you stand on the key issues. A quick phone call or email will make a difference. If you do not contact your representatives often, the following post may be helpful: Reaching US Congressional Delegations from New Jersey.
The House version of the Farm Bill failed in its first vote before passing by a narrow margin in its second vote. Only one NJ representative voted in favor of this bill. Elements of the House version would severely harm local food systems, access to food for the disadvantaged, and the environment. A particularly insidious part, Section 9101, would eliminate communities’ ability to create pesticide ordinances affecting private property that are more restrictive than state or federal rules. The Senate version of the bill is much better than the House version, but neither of them will significantly change our food system like the Food and Farm Act proposed by Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon could.
We hope that you will read some of the following useful materials that our partners and other organizations have prepared, and we hope that you will make your voice heard.
- Beyond Pesticides: “House Passes Farm Bill with Provisions that Weaken Organic, Poison Waterways and Harm Endangered Species”
- Environmental Working Group: “5 Ways House Farm Bill Would Roll Back Protections from Pesticides”
- Environmental Working Group: “House Farm Bill Would Sweep Away Hundreds of State Safeguards”
- Environmental Working Group: “The Farm Bill: Safety Net for Family Farmers or Bailout for Billionaires?”
- National Organic Coalition: “Action Needed on Farm Bill – September 6, 2018”
- NSAC: “House Pushes Through Flawed Farm Bill on Second Try”
- NSAC: “Top Ten Reasons to Reject the House Farm Bill”
- NSAC: “NSAC’s Guide to the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Process”