The Farm and Food Policy Project (FFPP) is pushing for a new generation of farm and food policies designed to address some of the nation's most pressing social, economic, environmental and public health challenges.
The group released a report last month called "Seeking Balance in U.S. Farm and Food Policy,” which outlines innovations it says would make real progress toward creating opportunities for young and beginning farmers, expanding new agricultural markets and value-added enterprises, helping more farmers move to organic production to meet increasing demand, reducing hunger and soaring rates of obesity; encouraging local food production and access to healthy food choices, promoting entrepreneurship and economic development in rural communities; providing incentives for more environmentally friendly farming systems; fostering cooperative conservation partnerships; and providing increased support for socially disadvantaged farmers and farm workers.
The group says it has more than 350 organizations from across the country have endorsed the report.
"It's unprecedented for organizations with such diverse interests -- many of whom have not been involved in the farm bill debate in the past -- to come together like this. But it's not surprising if you start with the idea that the farm bill shapes the food system that we all depend on, and sets important parts of our nation's rural, nutrition, environmental and energy policies. Since the farm bill impacts all of us -- farmers, consumers, taxpayers, and citizens -- we need more, not fewer, voices at the table," said Allen Hance, Farm and Food Policy Project coordinator, in a news release.