The farm bill: Greater Minnesota’s safety net


August 17, 2017 By: Marcus Schmit

Every five years or so Congress is expected to reauthorize the farm bill, a legislative vehicle long used to successfully meet the needs of our nation’s farm community – dairy farmers, corn and soybean growers, pork producers – while providing a basic level of support for the working poor. In short, the farm bill is a much needed safety net for farmers and hungry folks alike.

Included in the farm bill are 12 specific provisions (i.e. titles) that fund key priorities like commodities such as corn and pork, trade promotion, crop insurance and rural development. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly referred to as food stamps, is contained within Title 4 of the farm bill. SNAP helped about 500,000 Minnesotans last year and helped over 100,000 families avoid poverty.

Second Harvest Heartland recently supported farm bill listening sessions sponsored by the Minnesota Farmers Union in Mankato and Willmar. These gatherings of farmers, community leaders and hunger advocates highlighted the importance of maintaining the strong bond between Minnesota’s farmers and the hungry folks in their communities.

Now is not the time to make unnecessary cuts to a farm bill that works.

Minnesota’s farm economy is facing low market prices for its commodities and high costs for production. One in 10 Minnesotans doesn’t have enough food in their cupboards. And we’re surely closer to the next economic recession than the last one.

If you’re interested in learning more about SNAP and how you can advocate for hungry folks, please join us August 28.

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