Deficit-Cutting Measures May Cause Trouble for Farm Bill Food Programs
As Congress examines the 2012 Farm Bill, many people are worried that the demand for budget cuts could affect the many food programs associated with the bill:
Even food-centric people who regularly tune out to the din of congressional back and forth might want to take note of the deliberations as Congress hashes out the 2012 farm bill. The bill affects much of the food system in America by appropriating the money that pays for hunger and nutrition programs, school-lunch programs, farm subsidies, research, crop disaster relief and more.
This year's debate is of particular importance in the wake of the failure of the congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, known as the supercommittee, which couldn't agree on how to cut $1.5 trillion from the federal budget. Now farmers and agricultural analysts are keeping a close eye on how a series of deep automatic cuts in federal spending might affect the farm bill's provisions.
But Susan Prolman, executive director of the nonprofit National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition in Washington, D.C., is one observer closely monitoring the details of the bill that most of the public rarely notices.