The Farm Bill – Linking Agriculture and Nutrition Policy : Time for a different lens
Tracy Fox, MPH, RD
Food, Nutrition & Policy Consultants, LLC
Nutrition and public health advocates may not be among the first people you think of when talking about the Farm Bill, but they should be since nearly two-thirds of total farm bill spending is for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps.
Past and even much of the current debate about the Farm Bill has been on programs and policies impacting the major “row-crop” commodities – corn, soy, wheat and rice and often centers on direct payments, conservation and crop insurance programs for producers.
While there is often a “nod” to the nutrition programs such as SNAP, as well as the Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program, farmers market programs, and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), the bulk of the debate and press coverage is on more production-oriented agriculture policy.