Yesterday, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) introduced a draft of the 2018 Farm Bill.
While federal food and farming policy — and particularly the Farm Bill process — can seem complex and far-removed, these laws and rules impact our daily lives in ways large and small. From food access and nutrition programs, to crop insurance and agricultural research, the Farm Bill determines much about the food we eat, how its grown and its impacts on rural workers and communities.
PAN’s platform is informed by our ongoing work with partners across the country who are calling for federal food and farm policy that works for farmers, workers and communities — including National Family Farm Coalition, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Native Farm Bill Coalition, Rural Coalition and HEAL Food Alliance.
Here at PAN, we’re striving toward a future characterized by worker justice and healthy communities, fair farm economies and a food system that works for us into the future — and we’re advocating for federal policy that helps get us there.
Worker Justice & Healthy Communities
- Protecting workers and families from pesticide exposure: Pesticides touch every aspect of our lives, from residues on or in our food to increased incidence of chronic disease to biodiversity loss; children and farmworkers are especially at risk. We support policies that protect families and workers from exposure to pesticides, and support the use of crop and pest management practices that do not rely on the use of hazardous pesticides.
- Just immigration laws: We support pathways to legalization for all undocumented people, including pathways to citizenship for all those that want it, and an end to deportations.
- An end to rural and urban poverty: We advocate for living wage policies so that all workers and all people have access to an adequate supply of healthy food. Until poverty is eliminated we will continue to strongly support food assistance programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Fair Farm Economies
- Income opportunity and fairness for small and mid-sized family farms: We support supply management including parity, grain reserves, secure contracts and fair market access for livestock and other agricultural products.
- Conservation of agricultural land: In partnership with land trusts, states and tribal entities, we support ensuring that protected farmland will remain affordable and viable for future generations.
- Reverse agricultural industry consolidation: We advocate for the implementation and enforcement of measures that protect farmers’ markets, seeds and other farm inputs, and families’ choices at the grocery store.
A Food System for the Future
- Agroecology: We advocate for programs that support agroecological practices that build healthy soils, communities, and protect vital natural resources. These practices in turn support successful production of diverse, robust cropping systems resistant to pests, diseases, weather extremes and market fluctuations.
- Ending dependence on fossil fuels: We support programs that reduce the need for inputs of petroleum-derived pesticides, fertilizers and fuel. We support on-farm renewable energy production reliant on no or minimal synthetic inputs.
- Support for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers: We advocate for policies that support the next generation of farmers, ranchers and workers while breaking down barriers to entry. We especially focus on policies designed to right historical wrongs of disproportionately excluding certain groups of producers based on their race, ethnicity or socioeconomic class.