Farm Bills

The farm bill is a piece of legislation passed in the United States every 5 to 7 years, which contains a suite of policies dealing with agriculture and food. Farm bills provide financial support for farmers, nutrition assistance for consumers, conservation programs for environmental protection, and broader provisions ranging from research to trade and more. As a whole, farm bills frame the larger policy context within which food producers and consumers operate in the United States. Debates around their passage are typically characterized both by extraordinary controversy and by high levels of consensus among the many groups that participate in and observe them. This entry discusses farm bill history, stakeholders, major provisions, political context, and common points of debate.

Origins of the Farm Bill

The first farm ...

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