Lots of fields (www.manitobacooperator.ca).
by Dan Burns
Jul 20, 2023, 8:30 AM

Putting together the new Farm Bill plods along

The existing one is set to expire on September 30. Many believe it will have to be extended, as the new one won’t get passed until early 2024. Whatever.

As always there are some interesting things happening. For example, from Tuesday:

Food and farmworkers from key agricultural states and industries today spoke to congressional staffers about the need to pass a Food and Farm Bill that protects the 21.5 million people who plant, harvest, process, transport, sell and serve our food. Their labor underpins a U.S. food and agriculture industry valued at $1.264 trillion in 2021.

At the briefing, workers asked for Congress to take action to address heat stress and pesticide exposure, to ensure line speeds in poultry processing plants don’t operate at unsafe speeds, and for equitable access to safe housing and protection from extreme weather. Workers also discussed the impact of emergency grants to food workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to replenish the USDA fund that provided these grants for the next potential emergency, and the challenges facing farmworkers who aspire to farming their own land.
(Union of Concerned Scientists)

But on the whole the farming parts of the bill will in all likelihood largely be what the greedheads of Big Ag want. Again. For example, relating to the above, “Congress Likely to Preserve OSHA Loophole That Endangers Animal Ag Workers” (Civil Eats).

The demented Cruelty Caucus is of course pushing for massive cuts to SNAP and WIC. As with the debt ceiling and other issues this is resulting in a lot of apocalyptic grandstanding from many directions. But in the end not much will change.

(Regarding that apocalyptic grandstanding, a lot of great work gets done on the progressive internet. People gotta do what they gotta do, to get donations and keep going. It’s not the progressive blogs’ fault that manifestations of negativity bias play such irrationally outsized roles in human cognition. And it is important to be aware of worst-case scenarios.)

Here are some recent items, related to this, that I found worthwhile:

– “One-third of all crop insurance subsidies flow to massive insurance companies and agents, not farmers” (EWG)

– “Why Dairy Farmers Dump Their Milk” (Ambrook Research)

– “We Can End Corporate Control Over Seeds and Farmers” (The Progressive)

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