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The U.S. Farm Bill

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 currently working on 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.

Learn more about the Farm Bill and how creation care extends to our nation's farmlands by subscribing to Regenerate, EEN's monthly faith and agriculture newsletter. With a diverse array of content from Upper Midwest Coordinator Tim Olsen, along with expert guest writers, this newsletter is for farmers and non-farmers alike. Sign up by clicking the link below!

Why Does the Farm Bill Matter for Christians?

What Farmers Are Saying

This year, EEN held twelve “Faith and Agriculture” listening sessions across Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Michigan, and Pennsylvania to hear directly from farmers in the field about their priorities for the newest Farm Bill. Here's what we heard:

1. Keep new conservation benefits for farmers fully intact and stop efforts to repurpose conservation funds to other areas

2. Advance on-farm data collection and monitoring of soil and water health

3. Help 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

Join us in lifting your voice to support American farmers by sending a message to lawmakers about the benefits of a climate-smart, conservation-forward Farm Bill for the health and wellbeing of our children, food systems, farmers, and God’s creation. Click the link below to get started.

Learn More About Faith & Agriculture

  • This article from guest writer Luis Luna highlights the work, initiatives, and values of Hope Grows, an urban agriculture initiative of Building Hope in the City, located in Cleveland, OH.

  • Guest writer Rev. Andy Rozendaal shares his story from growing up on a farm in Iowa, to attending seminary, to now working with a small nonprofit farm in Holland, Michigan. Read about the work Eighth Day Farm does and Andy's reflections on the impact of urban farming programs in bringing communities together.

  • EEN Board Member Ron Vos shares details on what programs and funding are at stake in the U.S. Farm Bill reauthorization and how he's utilized accessible conservation practices on his own farm. He goes into the specifics of waterway contamination in the Midwest and how the Farm Bill can incentivize and enable farmers and landowners to mitigate harmful contamination of our waterways.

  • EEN Board Member Jeff Kopaska reflects on caring for our waterways and the creatures that inhabit them as apart of our creation care biblical mandate. He highlights the state of waterways and fish in his home state of Iowa and offers ways to prioritize clean water as we practice other land conservation techniques.

  • Our children, regardless of where they live or their circumstances, are the least among us. One way that we can bless children like Jesus is to offer healthy food during the school summer break. Read this letter from EEN’s friends at the USDA’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Bless children like Jesus by taking action to ensure there will be plentiful and healthy food available in your communities and neighborhoods this summer.

  • As contemporary followers of Jesus, our connection to–and understanding of–the relationship between the “Lord of the harvest” and our daily bread remains important. Today, the Farm Bill presents a unique opportunity for Christ followers in America to marry good theology with good policy and support flourishing life and stewardship of God’s creation. Additionally, local partnerships like the one between Grace Snellville Church in metro Atlanta and Fresh Harvest serve as a witness to the critical relationship between our food and our faith.

  • Our nation’s farmers, ranchers, and foresters are at the forefront of fulfilling God’s continuing entrustment of the good gifts of land, crops, trees, and livestock. Located in the southwest corner county of SW Minnesota, Shawn and Becky Feikema, co-owners of Feikema Farms, are living out God’s entrustment by practicing no-till, minimum till, cover crop management, and diverse crop rotations on 7,000 acres of prime Minnesota farmland.

  • Robert Bonnie shares how farmers, ranchers, and forest owners have stewarded our land and how they're stepping up in new ways to address our changing climate. Thanks to benefits in the Inflation Reduction Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture can further invest in conservation programs and resources for farmers. He stresses the importance of the new U.S. Farm Bill in continuing to support farmers in climate smart agriculture.

  • EEN's President/CEO Rev. Dr. Jessica Moerman gives an update on the current status of the 2023 U.S. Farm Bill and emphasizes why Christians should care about this as an avenue to steward God's creation well. She encourages Congress to not forget about our nation's farmers.

  • 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.

  • "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.” 

  • 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.

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