America's farmers are getting older

Feb 20, 2024
The average age of farmers is increasing as young aspiring farmers face financial barrier to starting up.
Things like a shortage of child care, rural housing and the burden of student loans could be keeping younger people back from farming.
Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The farm bill is caught up in gridlock ... again

Jan 24, 2024
The current bill, which funds everything from crop insurance to nutrition programs, was set to expire back in September. Congress gave itself a yearlong extension to negotiate an update — but it could take even longer than that.
If Congress doesn't negotiate a new farm bill in the next few months, there may not be a new one until 2025.
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Finding child care is tough for farming families. The next farm bill could help.

Jan 11, 2024
Most day care centers cater to parents with 9-to-5 jobs. New funding could help child care facilities expand their offerings.
Jamie Viramontes with her children, Cayden and Gracie, on their family farm in New Mexico. Local child care centers cater to people with 9-to-5 jobs, Jamie says.
Courtesy Jamie Viramontes

Federal Crop Insurance Program draws bipartisan criticism

Nov 17, 2023
Some farmers say their business models depend on the crop insurance and getting rid of the program would drive up food prices.
Mark, left, and Denny Wilson are co-owners of Wilson-Legacy Farms in Delaware. They say crop insurance is an important part of managing and stabilizing farm costs.
Maya Marchel Hoff/Marketplace

How a delayed farm bill would affect the agriculture sector

Nov 10, 2023
If an extension or replacement bill isn't passed by the new year, there could be major consequences for farmers and consumers.
The farm bill was last updated in 2018. It's more expensive to grow food now, but the legislation doesn't reflect those changes.
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For the 2023 Farm Bill, expect a political showdown over SNAP benefits

Feb 16, 2023
Congress will be debating food aid programs covered by the bill, just as pandemic-era funding increases for food aid expire while grocery costs remain high.
As grocery costs remain high, a shrinking budget for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program could be a strain for recipients.
Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

What to expect from the 2023 Farm Bill

Dec 28, 2022
Advocates for everything from nutrition programs to tribal food sovereignty to climate and sustainability initiatives will be keeping an eye on the bill next year.
Above, a sign alerting customers about SNAP food stamps benefits — which are funded through the Farm Bill — is displayed at a Brooklyn grocery store.
Scott Heins/Getty Images

For public good, not for profit.

Native agricultural coalition takes up priorities for the next farm bill

Dec 6, 2021
Tribal agricultural leaders say they would like to see more lending to agricultural producers and more autonomous control over federal funds.
Native farmers and ranchers haven’t had equal access to federal support, one expert said. Above, corn and soybeans grow in Iowa.
Scott Olson via Getty Images

Farmer aid agreement removes obstacle to federal shutdown negotiations

Sep 22, 2020
The GOP wanted increased funds for aid programs to farmers, but opponents said similar aid has gone to big corporations at the expense of smaller farms in the past.
People living in rural areas are feeling the squeeze of higher diesel prices because they often drive longer distances and use diesel-reliant equipment.
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Congress closes in on a final farm bill

Dec 12, 2018
Lawmakers in the House and Senate have reached a bipartisan agreement on a nearly $900 billion bill. To get there, House Republicans backed off demands to increase work requirements for people receiving food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The bill could come up for a vote this week.