The 2023 Farm Bill

Every five years, the United States Congress works on the nation's most important farm and food policy, known as the Farm Bill. The bill sets the direction for the country's food system, from farm to the fork. Its programs influence what farmers grow and how they grow it, what food is available and where, including for those facing hunger. For the 2023 Farm Bill, IATP will focus on:

  1. Reforms that respond to the climate crisis, including greater support for low-emitting, more resilient agroecological farming;
  2. Ensuring fairness in agriculture markets, where a handful of global companies have too much power to drive prices down for farmers, lower wages for workers and increase prices for consumers;
  3. Strengthening community food systems through greater support for farmers and infrastructure providing more sustainable, healthy food for local economies.

The Farm Bill sets the direction for our nation's food system, from farm to the fork. 

Trade & the Farm Bill

It is impossible to separate the Farm Bill from the country’s commitment to free trade. The passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 and the formation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995 set the stage for the 1996 Farm Bill, which stripped away the last vestiges of U.S. supply management programs in order to expand production and better pursue export markets. Ensuing Farm Bills have followed the lead of trade rules, including reforms to the cotton program and eliminating mandatory country of origin labeling for meat. Discover more on trade and the Farm Bill.

It is impossible to separate the Farm Bill from the country’s commitment to free trade. 

Farm Bill History

The Farm Bill is a fundamentally a story about power. Dating back to the 1930s, every five years or so Congress decides in whose interest the Farm Bill will serve. Current Farm Bill debates involve many constituencies beyond just farmers, including hunger advocates, environmentalists, rural leaders, public health supporters and civil rights organizations. The Farm Bill is both derivative and evolving, with important lessons from the past informing the hard policy challenges of the future. Learn more about the history of the Farm Bill.