Action Alert

Fair trade or free trade? Let your voice be heard on Minnesota’s future!

The Obama Administration is negotiating two new mega trade deals (one with Pacific Rim countries, another with Europe) entirely in secret, with the goal of further expanding the NAFTA-model of free trade. These trade agreements could have major impacts on Minnesota's farmers, workers, small business owners and rural communities. They could limit Minnesota’s ability to support local food and energy systems and grow local businesses. In order to stay up to speed, Minnesota has set up a new Trade Policy Advisory Council (TPAC) to advise the state legislature and Governor.

TPAC wants to hear from Minnesotans: What concerns do you have about free trade? What role could TPAC play in the future? Now is your opportunity to have a say in our future trade policy. Complete the survey and let them know future trade negotiations should be public, not secret. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard in the development of trade agreements and that they protect local control and our quality of life. The free trade model has failed for Minnesota and we need a new approach to trade. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard before trade agreements are completed, and that they protect local control, our natural resources and our quality of life.

Please take five minutes and complete the survey. To find out more about these trade agreements, go to

Farm Bill

Used under Creative Commons license from Flickr user matze_ott

The failure of Congress to pass a Farm Bill in 2012, and the ensuing disastrous nine-month extension that eviscerated a score of programs, illustrates how impotent this policy tool has become. Instead of addressing the urgent challenges our food system faces, the Farm Bill is a patchwork of programs that not only fail to support each other, but often contradict and undermine each other. This failure, combined with growing influence of corporate money in Washington, holds true reform at a standstill.

Now is the time to think differently. This is why IATP is launching a new initiative to work with partners and experts to identify policy proposals that go Beyond the Farm Bill to tackle structural barriers and build an alternate system. By harnessing new ideas, we aim to create a public policy agenda that supports a fair and sustainable food and farm system, grounded in the values of resiliency, justice, health and sovereignty.

Join us in this initiative to break the policy chains of the Farm Bill and think bigger for a fair, sustainable, and healthy farm and food system.

Read a longer description of Beyond the Farm Bill

IATP's Beyond the Farm Bill

For the past 75 years, ever since the New Deal programs of the Roosevelt administration, federal policy makers have taken an active role in agriculture. Every five to seven years, agricultural policies are evaluated and reauthorized through the federal Farm Bill. The last bill was passed in 2007; the next is expected in 2012. The larger public is discovering that policies in the Farm Bill affect not just farmers here and around the world, but rural communities, the environment, health, hunger and even immigration. Literally everyone has a stake in the Farm Bill.

IATP has been fighting for a fair, healthy and sustainable Farm Bill for more than 25 years. In our new What’s at Stake series, we analyze how the Farm Bill affects issues we all care about.

Why $3 corn won’t spark a prairie fire

Adjusted for inflation, the $3 bushel of corn of today is no better than the $1.80 corn that sparked a farm uprising in the 1980s. What has changed?

Climate change in the 2015 federal budget and Farm Bill

The federal budget and U.S. Farm Bill are focused on damage control, but resilience and adaptation will cost less in the long run.

It’s time to move Beyond the Farm Bill

It's time to move Beyond the Farm Bill and design the type of food and agriculture policy we need. Help us build a better future for our food and agriculture systems before it’s too

No food stamps, no farm program

A guest feature from Rod Leonard, former IATP board member and special assistant to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Orville Freeman.

Searching for the Farm Bill

Will we ever see a Farm Bill again? IATP reports from Minnesota's 32nd annual Farmfest.

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