The Farm Bill

The US Farm Bill is a sprawling omnibus legislation that flies under the radar of most of the public. Yet it influences all of us — growers, eaters, ruralites and urbanites, human and nonhuman communities that depend on land and water — across the country. The bill influences every aspect of US agriculture, from food assistance and crop insurance, to land use and civil rights, through marker bills organized into twelve titles. 

The Farm Bill is reauthorized by Congress about every five years. In the buildup to each Farm Bill Reauthorization, the BFI policy team focuses heavily on education, outreach, and events related to this important legislation.

Pointing the Farm Bill Toward Racial Justice: A Summit & Briefing

On April 30 to May 2, 2023, BFI teamed up with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund and American University’s Center for Environment, Community, and Equity and Antiracist Research Policy Center to host “Pointing the Farm Bill Toward Racial Justice.” The summit was a historic convening of farmers, advocates, policymakers, scholars, students, and the general public invested in making the 2023 Farm Bill a policy vehicle for advancing equity across each of the twelve titles in the bill.

Farm Bill Seminar at UC Berkeley

In 2018 and 2023, BFI offered a seminar at UC Berkeley that brought experts on the Farm Bill to campus with the goals of understanding the general framework of this important legislation and identifying areas of particular interest for further study. Students critically analyzed the Farm Bill’s history, structure, and implementation, contributed to real-time discussions, and built skills in policy analysis, debate, communications, and coalition-building.

Special Issue of Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems

In 2020, BFI Executive Director Nina F. Ichikawa co-edited a special issue of Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems with Garret Graddy-Lovelace and Adam Diamond of American University. The issue emerged from a successful Farm Bill symposium in Washington, DC co-organized by BFI in 2017 and includes peer-reviewed articles and commentaries aimed at some of the common debates from the 2018 Farm Bill.