WHAT IS THE FARM BILL?
Every five years, Congress must reauthorize the U.S. Farm Bill. This bill authorizes hundreds of billions of dollars in funding for everything from crop insurance for America’s farmers to food assistance for hungry families. It also includes $6 billion in annual conservation funding to improve soil health, increase water quality, conserve wildlife habitats, and harness the power of God’s creation to build resilience to climate-fueled extreme weather and lock away soil-enriching carbon. The current Farm Bill expires in 2023, and Congress is already drafting a successor.
A conservation-forward Farm Bill is critical to protecting God’s creation, defending our kids’ health, and safeguarding our families, farmers, and food systems from climate-fueled disasters.
EEN has been hard at work engaging farmers, Christians, and policymakers across the country to learn, educate, and advocate for a robust 2023 Farm Bill that promotes sustainable farms, sustainable rural businesses and communities, and a safe and healthy environment. We will continue to do so until a final bill is passed, and we want you to join us.
Read on to learn more about why the Farm Bill matters to Christians, what our recommendations are to policymakers, and how you can get engaged.
Why Does the Farm Bill Matter for Christians?
EEN held twelve “Faith and Agriculture” listening sessions across Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Michigan, and Pennsylvania to hear directly from farmers in the field on what’s working and what’s needed in the 2023 Farm Bill. Based on those conversations, EEN is supporting the following five recommendations for the Farm Bill reauthorization:
1. Prevent cuts to farmers’ ability to access conservation programs and other incentives
2. Advance on-farm data collection and monitoring of soil and water health
3. Help the conservation programs and incentives actually reach farmers by investing in technical assistance, staffing, public-private partnerships, and peer-to-peer information exchanges
4. Reduce barriers for conservation on rented lands and increase support for next generation, beginner, young, and underrepresented farmers to acquire land
5. Make a bold investment in transformational resilient agriculture research
How you can get involved
Send a message to your members of Congress asking them to support a robust, conservation-forward Farm Bill that protects God’s creation and lets farmers lead the way toward a more sustainable agricultural future. We’ve made it easy! Visit our Take Action page to get started.
Learn More About the Farm Bill
Rev. Tim Olsen, EEN's Upper Midwest Coordinator, reflects on the importance of Congress passing a conservation-forward 2023 Farm Bill and his experience leading listening sessions this past spring with local midwest farmers, agricultural professionals, and church leaders.
"As dedicated agriculturalists, the Bones family have been trailblazers in countless arenas. They have been building a legacy of leadership in agriculture, conservation, and sustainability over five generations that has made positive impacts which will continue for decades to come.”
In honor of World Bee Day on May 20, 2023, EEN Upper Midwest Coordinator Tim Olsen reflects on the Biblical relevance of bees and honey, the history of beekeeping in the Church, and how being mindful of pollinators can be a meaningful part of practicing creation care.