The Farm Bill dates back to the Great Depression, when family farms were in trouble and many Americans could not afford what they needed to eat. It gives taxpayer support to a huge range of Americans, from the poor who survive on food stamps to wealthy farmers insured against losses. New versions have passed roughly every five years on a bipartisan basis, but the latest effort is more evidence that there is no bipartisanship any more. Republicans in the House and Democrats in the Senate have passed different versions, and compromise may fall victim to competing interests and ideologies. A conference committee with 41 members from both sides is meeting behind closed doors to work out a compromise. If there's no agreement, farm policy could revert back to 1938, driving an increase in the price of some foods.
The Farm Bill and America's Food Supply
Alan Bjerga - Bloomberg News - @AlanBjerga, Jerry Hagstrom - Hagstrom Report - @hagstromreport, Vincent Smith - Montana State University, Roger Johnson - National Farmers Union - @NationalFarmersUnion, Craig Cox - Environmental Working Group - @EWGsoilman