As young people that grew up in urban areas, it's easy to wonder why we, or our peers, should care about the Farm Bill. The truth of the matter is, the Farm Bill affects more than just farmers.
As Congress works to pass a new Farm Bill before the end of the year, it's crucial to make our voices heard on this important topic.
From the rural youth looking to take over the family farm to the urban gardener looking to grow fresh produce on the rooftop of their apartment building; from aspiring beginning farmers to outdoorsmen; from farmers market lovers to grocery store regulars, the Farm Bill is everywhere.
Without a new Farm Bill, universities will lose funding for research on important topics like nutrition, food safety, resource conservation and pest management, to name a few. The next generation of farmers and ranchers will lose access to critical programs, putting the future of rural America and our booming exports at serious risk. Funding to programs ensuring greater food security in both the United States and abroad are in danger of drying up.
Did you know that Farm Bill programs help those affected by natural disasters? The Farm Bill enables all Americans, from producers to consumers, to enjoy stable food prices at the grocery store, even after disasters like the 2012 drought and Superstorm Sandy.
Do you like to explore the great outdoors? Without a new farm bill, USDA agencies will be unable to enroll new acres in critical conservation and wildlife habitat programs. This will stunt the ability of local communities to support recreation and sporting, hindering the growth of local economies.
These are just a few of the many reasons why Farm Bill is important to us.
But what about you?
Tweet at @USDA with the hashtag #MyFarmBill and let us know what's at stake for you without the 2012 Food, Farm and Jobs bill. Join the conversation and help give a voice to the next generation of American agriculture.
See Dubinsky and Frank's original post on the USDA blog here.