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“There is absolutely no way to explain this other than agriculture is just not a priority,” said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow on the Senate Floor on New Year’s Day.

She was describing the bare-bones Farm Bill extension agreed to as part of the stop-gap budget deal just after the House allowed the Farm Bill to expire, never even calling for a vote. Congress and the White House seemed to ignore the longstanding importance of this legislation when they failed to provide mandatory funding for a whole host of programs in the absence of its full renewal.

Jim Harkness, IATP’s former Executive Director, commented “It’s time we pay attention to the messages Congress is sending and begin to look beyond the Farm Bill to build a new policy framework for a fair, sustainable, and healthy food system”.


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