Coalition Report

By Melissa Vatterott
Food & Farm Coordinator
Missouri Coalition
for the Environment

Local Healthy Food and Land Stewardship are Essential. Protect Family Farmers & Conservation
in the Farm Bill.

Food food policy means a healthy, fair, and sustainable food system from farm to fork. From farm to fork, our food system should be something we are proud of, making the safest and healthiest food available for everyone. A world-class food system that works for all Missourians is built on good food policies – policies that prioritize affordability, availability, nutrition, safety, and environmental protections. One avenue through which we can see good food policy for the United States is through the Farm Bill. Every five years, Congress rewrites the Farm Bill, a key piece of legislation that impacts our food, our soil and water quality, our health, and our wallets.

The Farm Bill is a federal omnibus bill that covers a variety of food and farm-related concerns, and provides funding and support for various federal programs. Some of these programs directly affect agriculture, such as crop insurance, crop subsidies, and incentive programs for soil conservation practices. Other programs are indirectly related to agriculture, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (formerly the Food Stamp Program) and various programs related to forestry, rural development, biofuel production, and food safety. The Farm Bill also influences the type of crops farmers produce, whether farmers choose to implement conservation practices on their land, the amount of financial support available to low- income families to purchase food, and the type and price of food found on our grocers’ shelves.

Congress is in the process of drafting the next Farm Bill right now, which will impact our food system for the next five years.

MCE wants to help create a better Farm Bill to support environmentally-responsible farmers, to build up local and regional food systems, and to improve access to nutritious food for Missouri’s most food-insecure families.

To learn more about the Farm Bill and how you can take action with MCE, look out for MCE’s Spring Alert newsletter and visit our Farm Bill Action webpage at www.moenvironment.org/17-food-and-farm/39-farm-bill.