The Agriculture Improvement Act, or “Farm Bill,” is the most important legislation shaping United States food systems. Passed only twice per decade, the bill determines how we grow, distribute, and dispose of food in the U.S.
Over the next five years, the U.S. federal government will spend more than $700 billion through the Farm Bill, including in critical nutrition that supports more than 40 million people in the United States. If the 2023 Farm Bill looks like 2018 Farm Bill, it will also reinvest in the factory food system model that perpetuates needless suffering, largely through animal agriculture.
Traditional Farm Bill spending hurts nearly all of us, including:
- 10-billion-plus farmed animals in the U.S.
- 90-plus-percent of people in the U.S. who are, by fruit and vegetable consumption, nutritionally insecure
- Farmers and farm communities suffering from social, economic, and environmental injustice
- Our local rivers and streams, our global climate, and all who rely on our shared environment to flourish
Only Big Ag, millionaire landowners, and billionaire investors truly benefit from the Farm Bill’s factory-food-system approach.
Farm Bill investments should catalyze food system transformations that benefit all of us – animals, people, and the planet. The Farm Bill should spark a shift from a factory farm, industrial model of harm, extraction, and unsustainability to flourishing food system models of healing, mutuality, and true sustainability.
Public investments should build nutrition for all, sustainable farmer opportunity, and advance justice across the food system supply chain. The federal government should invest in the plant and plant-based supply chains that could one day nourish everyone. We should choose to invest taxpayer dollars in food systems that advance shared purpose rather than guarantee corporate profits.
To build a food system that works for everyone, we need to shift the Farm Bill: from Big Ag bailout to “building the good” for animals, people, and the planet.