Archives of Farm Bill

HEAL Statement on House Democratic Principles for the Next Farm Bill

February 8, 2024: On Wednesday, the House Agriculture Committee Democrats published a memo laying out the principles the next farm bill should include to win the support of the House Democratic Caucus. In response to the memo the HEAL Food Alliance issued the following statement: The HEAL (Health, Environment, Agriculture, Labor) Food Alliance is glad […]

Dysfunctional Congress Left American Farm Workers in Limbo

*note: This op-ed was originally published in the the Opinion section of the Messenger on October 18, 2023 Dysfunctional Congress Left American Farm Workers in Limbo By Jose Oliva and Sophie Ackoff Although Congress was able to make a deal this weekend and avoid a government shutdown, the 21.5 million people working in the food […]

Bills, Bills, Bills: Nine pieces of legislation that could push the Farm Bill in the right direction

As part of the farm bill process, members of Congress introduce “marker bills” to try to get provisions included into the larger bill. We do not expect Congress to pass marker bills as standalone bills – they are often not politically feasible to pass on their own. But they do get people talking and help build momentum for policies that should be included in the larger (“omnibus”) bill. Marker bills are also an opportunity for advocacy, enabling community groups and legislators to work together to address issues that impact our food system and our lives. 

It’s time to center climate justice and real climate solutions in the Farm Bill!

Real solutions to the climate crisis already exist – on fields and farms, in communities, grassroots organizations, and in agricultural collectives. Currently, the Farm Bill props up industrial agricultural practices and corporations that wreak havoc on our ecosystems while polluting our air, water and food, including their false climate solutions that perpetuate extraction and exploitation.

It’s time to address food insecurity in the Farm Bill!

Community care is ensuring every person has access to sustainable, nourishing food they can afford.  Nutrition in the US is most often decided, not by personal or individual choice, but by where you live, what you do, and what you can afford to buy. And for communities of color, food apartheid and systemic racism further limit the nutritious food we have access to.  

It’s time to invest in communities and break up corporate power in the Farm Bill!

Corporate agribusinesses, through consolidation, have amassed massive power over food production lines, controlling each step from “farm to fork.”  Before I joined the HEAL Food Alliance as an Organizer, I supported beginning farmers and livestock producers in the Midwestern “corn belt,” a region dominated by commodity farming and the base for many large corporate agribusinesses. 

We must center BIPOC farmers & producers in the farm bill!

For many Black, Indigenous, and other people of color in the US, land and water stewardship play a central role in our culture, way of life, economic livelihoods, and the sustainability of our communities.  However, due to white settler colonialism, the opportunity to farm has been unjustly stripped from the majority of BIPOC communities in the US through many avenues, including government policies and programs. 

It’s time to secure rights for food and farm workers in the Farm Bill!

I became enamored with the restaurant industry when I first came to the US. I was 13 years old and my parents were fleeing a bloody civil war that claimed the lives of several members of our family. Despite being a teacher in Guatemala, here in the US my mother could only find work in a restaurant. It was only after I began working in the industry myself that I soon realized the glamor and fast-paced energy I glimpsed through the windows of my mother’s workplace was just a mirage. It was in fact the reflection of abusive managers, racism and a sexist environment unlike anything I had ever experienced.