The gigantic and confusing political document that governs agricultural spending in the United States is called the Farm Bill. Every 4 or 5 years a new bill is voted upon, and every edition makes many people nervous.
You've heard of farm subsidies? Those come out of the Farm Bill. They effectively pay a fund to farmers who grow crops like corn, cotton, and soybeans, our large commodities. Subsidies often receive a negative opinion in the media, especially from people who support small, diversified farms. In the Midwest, however, these subsidies are what keep farmers and towns in business. Our last post, on Ken Warren from The Land Institute, touches on that.
But the Farm Bill covers much more than that; most of its monies actually go to Food Stamps and other food-related economic support.
In this 13-minute TED Talk, Ken Cook explains the breakdown of the last bill, and makes some proposals for a rearrangement of its focus.