The Farm Bill—or as it could be called, the food and farm bill—is a federal law renewed every five years that governs our farm and food policy. The current farm bill is estimated to spend $428.3 billion over 5 years and it impacts virtually every part of the agriculture sector covering programs such as crop insurance for farmers, conservation efforts, healthy food access for low-income families, local and regional food programs, research, beginning farmer training, support for sustainable farming practices, and much more. The Farm Bill lays the groundwork for our food and farming efforts across New York State.
Congress is writing a new Farm Bill right now! The most recent Farm Bill, the Agricultural Act of 2018, expires September 2023. We now have an opportunity to reshape our food system through this legislation and build upon lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has continued to highlight the importance of local and regional food systems and supply chains as New York State recovers from the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.
To engage New Yorkers in shaping the 2023 Farm Bill, Equity Advocates, Black Farmers United NYS, and Food for the Spirit launched a collaborative statewide Farm Bill campaign beginning with developing a community-informed policy platform. They prioritized outreach to and participation of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) farmers, producers, & practitioners in NY State. They heard from over 300 New Yorkers who shared how the 2023 Farm Bill can better support them in terms of land access, urban agriculture, climate change, community food project funding, nutrition, local and regional food systems, and more. The resulting policy platform represents a collective voice from NYS community food leaders, farmers, gardeners, land stewards, producers, & advocates. Over the coming months, these groups will work together to elevate and mobilize voices from across New York to share their stories, experiences and policy priorities to advocate for a strong and equitable 2023 Farm Bill.
Join CFF and our co-sponsors for a briefing in which Equity Advocates and Food for the Spirit discuss the importance of the 2023 Farm Bill for New York food and farming efforts, their collaborative campaign and NYS Farm Bill Platform, the different ways they are working to build the advocacy capacity of their networks to participate in the campaign, and ways they can strengthen their advocacy efforts to ensure a 2023 Farm Bill that works for all.