The 2014 Farm Bill expires on September 30th and Congress has not been able to reach an agreement authorizing a new bill nor have they taken action to pass an extension of the existing farm bill.
That puts the funding for many “tiny but mighty” (TBM) farm bill programs in jeopardy. These TBM programs include the Farmers’ Market and Local Food Promotion Program, Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, Organic Cost-Share support and more. All tolled these programs make up just .5% of the overall farm bill budget while delivering huge economic and social benefit to communities across the country.
Politico Morning Ag reports that Congress plans to pass the bill after the November mid-term election but changes in Congress could complicate that plan.
In a best case scenario, these TBM programs will be stalled, RFA’s will not be released on time and will result in real delays in the good work on the ground.
A worst case scenario happens if Congress cannot come to an agreement on a new farm bill in November and we lose funding for these programs until an extension that includes TBM programs is passed.
Stay tuned to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition for progress on the bill and continue communicating with your representatives. Ask them to get the job done this year by adopting the Senate version of the farm bill.
Amalie Lipstreu, Policy Coordinator
Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association