The Farm Bill: A Citizen's Guide (Paperback)

The Farm Bill: A Citizen's Guide By Daniel Imhoff, Christina Badaracco Cover Image

The Farm Bill: A Citizen's Guide (Paperback)


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The farm bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation the American president signs. Negotiated every five to seven years, it has tremendous implications for food production, nutrition assistance, habitat conservation, international trade, and much more. Yet at nearly 1,000 pages, it is difficult to understand for policymakers, let alone citizens. In this primer, Dan Imhoff and Christina Badaracco translate all the “legalese" and political jargon into an accessible, graphics-rich 200 pages.

Readers will learn the basic elements of the bill, its origins and history, and perhaps most importantly, the battles that will determine the direction of food policy in the coming years. The authors trace how the legislation has evolved, from its first incarnation during the Great Depression, to today, when America has become the world’s leading agricultural powerhouse. They explain the three main components of the bill—farm subsidies, food stamps or SNAP, and conservation programs—as well as how crucial public policies are changing.

With a new farm bill just signed into law, we all need to understand the implications of food policy. What’s the impact of crop insurance? How does SNAP actually work? What would it take to create a healthier, more sustainable food system? These are questions that affect not only farmers, but everyone who eats. If you care about the answers, The Farm Bill is your guide.
Dan Imhoff is the author of multiple books about the food system, including CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories (winner of the Nautilus 2011 Gold Prize for Investigative Reporting), Farming with the Wild, and Farming and the Fate of Wild Nature (with Jo Ann Baumgartner). Christina Badaracco is a registered dietitian who writes regularly about food, agriculture, and public health.
Product Details ISBN: 9781610919746
ISBN-10: 1610919742
Publisher: Island Press
Publication Date: January 10th, 2019
Pages: 280
Language: English
"Daniel Imhoff’s recently-published The Farm Bill: A Citizen’s Guide [is] a welcome and much-needed source for translating farm bill legalese....[it is] a thorough and navigable history of the farm bill...[that] hands readers the tools to take action."
— Foodprint

"Dan Imhoff does an extraordinary job of explaining an impenetrable bill with such clarity that we can't ignore the facts: that our current Farm Bill profoundly damages our organic farms, our environment, and our health. Just as extraordinary are the practical solutions Imhoff proposes for fixing the bill—humane policies that would support regenerative agriculture and our local farmers instead of tearing them down."
— Alice Waters, Executive Chef, Founder, and Owner, Chez Panisse

"Cuts to the core of dozens of issues Congress wrestles with every four years, and gives citizens sage advice for making their voices heard in a debate too often dominated by Big Ag, Big Food, and Big Money."
— Ken Cook, President and Cofounder, Environmental Working Group

"A must-read for those who truly care about how they feed themselves and their families."
— Michel Nischan, Founder and CEO, Wholesome Wave

"Readers will gain deep insight into the big barriers to Farm Bill reform, but also into the ripening opportunities for major change. Imhoff makes a strong case for why we should care and what it will take to transform policy."
— Ferd Hoefner, Strategic Senior Advisor, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

"Dan Imhoff is the go-to person if you want to know both details and the full sweep of the Farm Bill."
— Wes Jackson, President Emeritus, The Land Institute