|Here I am at the Capital in D.C.|
The Farm Bill sets the framework for agriculture policy and funding for a five-year period and is passed into law by the U.S. Congress. Currently, the 2008 Farm Bill, also known as the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, outlines spending in the amount of $288 billion. Discussions are underway for the 2012 Farm Bill which should be adopted by mid-2012. The Farm Bill is 2% of the Federal Government’s budget.
You might be surprised that the majority of Farm Bill funds are spent on nutrition programs such as food stamps and school lunches. We have an abundant food supply in the U.S. but people still go hungry. According to a presentation by the American Farm Bureau Federation, many families depend on the U.S. government for food;
- 1 of 8 American’s use food banks
- 50% of babies born today benefit from the Women Infant and Children (WIC) program
- 50% of America’s children will be on food stamps at least once before they are 20 years old
- 15% of U.S. households don’t have enough money to feed themselves
- 1 of 7 American’s are on food stamps
- 54% of students receive free lunch at school and 10% get reduced price lunches
- 72% of students get free breakfast at school and 10% have reduced price breakfast
The American people, me included, are tired of all the wasteful government spending and that was made clear during the November 2010 elections. As a result, many government programs will likely receive budget cuts. When you hear elected officials, media or your friends talking about the 2012 Farm Bill, it’s important to know it’s really a food and nutrition bill. Agriculture programs receive ½ of 1 percent of the total federal budget.