The Challenges Some Want President Biden To Address In His Next Farm Bill

Food Business News reports that more than 150 organizations have signed off on a letter to President Joe Biden regarding their desires for the next farm bill. His administration is expected to pass the bill sometime in 2023, and there's a long list of initiatives that it is expected to address.

According to The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the farm bill is actually several legislations that are grouped together that have major impacts on the agriculture sector. These legislations can impact farmers' livelihoods, like which crops can be produced in the country, and support or promote different farming practices.

NPR says that the last farm bill was passed in 2018. That massive bill was projected to cost $867 billion over the course of 10 years, which shows just how large the scale of this bill's impact could be. The farm bill is also often designed to address short term challenges in the industry. For example, NPR notes that $16 billion of the funding was designated to assist farmers that were affected by the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China. It's possible the 2023 farm bill will be used to help fight lingering food inflation.

Biden's potential farm bill

The wide range of concerns for the future legislation was reflected in the letter to President Biden in the broad spectrum of its signees, which included the Worker Justice Alliance, the Sustainable Farming Association, the Plant Based Foods Institute, The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Food Business News reports that by signing, all of these organizations were in agreement that the farm bill needs to address climate change, sustainable farming practices, workers' rights, racial injustices, and economic inequality.

The Union of Concerned Scientists also acknowledged that Biden has made recent strides in many of these efforts with the passage of the recent Inflation Reduction Act. It says that it is vital for his administration to continue building on this momentum. Hearings are apparently already underway in the House and Senate committees responsible for drafting this legislation.

Arguably one of the most important issues looming for the agricultural industry is the threat posed by climate change. It's projected to impact numerous foods, including coffee and chocolate, and could even be an existential threat for wine production.