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SAFSF Conference Call. 2012 Farm Bill: Budget Context & New Policy Building Blocks Ferd Hoefner NSAC Policy Director [email protected] Why the Farm Bill Matters. Funding and policies that impact: How food is grown

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Safsf conference call
SAFSF Conference Call

2012 Farm Bill:

Budget Context & New Policy Building Blocks

Ferd Hoefner

NSAC Policy Director

[email protected]

Why the farm bill matters
Why the Farm Bill Matters

Funding and policies that impact:

How food is grown

What kind of food is grown

Who grows it

Health & wellbeing of farmers, farm workers

Rural communities

Rural landscapes

Environment and natural resources

Our diets and public health

Food availability worldwide

2008 farm bill by title
2008 Farm Bill By Title

15 “titles” in 2008 – titles are not static - 5 new ones in 2008 Farm Bill

  • Commodity Programs

  • Conservation

  • Trade and Food Aid

  • Nutrition

  • Credit

  • Rural Development

  • Research

  • Forestry

    • Energy(new in 2002)

    • Horticulture & Organic Agriculture (new in 2008)

    • Livestock and Competition (new in 2008)

    • Crop Insurance & Disaster Assistance (somewhat new in 2008)

    • Commodity Futures (new in 2008)

  • Miscellaneous

    • Trade & Tax Provisions (new in 2008)

      – provided rest of bill $14.5 B in new $$

      (this last title via Ways & Means and Finance Committees; unlikely to happen again)

  • Farm bill budget context
    Farm BillBudget Context





    Farm bill budget context1
    Farm BillBudget Context

    Looking on




    The 10 year budget baselines for 2011 2020
    The 10-Year Budget Baselines for 2011-2020

    • $696 billion = SNAP & Nutrition Programs

    • [$204 billion = Child Nutrition school meal programs (not Farm Bill)]

    • $83 billion = Crop Insurance Subsidies

    • $65 billion = Conservation Programs

    • $64 billion = Commodity Subsidies

    • $16 billion = Everything Else Combined in Ag Co jurisdiction (not all Farm Bill)

      (note – these numbers, especially the top two, will change when new budget baseline released by Congressional Budget Office)

    Multiple bites at farm bill
    Multiple Bites at Farm Bill $$$

    • FY 11 Continuing Resolution

    • FY 12 Appropriations

    • Budget Reconciliation

    • Farm Bill Proper

    Off to rough start approps
    Off to Rough Start - Approps

    • House FY 11 CR – preposterous 22% in USDA/FDA discretionary appropriations

      • Plus $642 million in cuts to mandatory conservation and renewable energy programs

    • Obama FY 12 Budget Proposal – worse yet on conservation -- $1 billion cut to mandatory conservation programs

      • While Obama’s proposed conservation cuts in FY 09 and 10 were largely rejected by Congress, the politics has now shifted

    Reaction is swift
    Reaction is Swift

    • NSAC plays the lead role in analyzing the House and Senate bill and President’s budget on food & ag

    • NSAC organizes letter to Senate opposing the Food and Ag cuts in HR 1; works with Rural Coalition – 154 grassroots and national organizations sign-on

    • NSAC helps organize Conservation Coalition letter opposing HR 1 conservation cuts – 35 primarily national green groups sign on

    • NSAC helps organize AFRI Coalition letter opposing REE cuts in HR 1 and supporting small AFRI increase in Senate bill – 35 national science and ag groups sign

    Outcome uncertain
    Outcome Uncertain

    • Senate Votes 3/9/11

      • 56-44 against HR 1

      • 58-42 against Senate


    • March 18 deadline – likely to be extended

    • Prelude to FY 12

    • Possible prelude to Budget Reconciliation

    More multiple bites
    More Multiple Bites

    Question #1


    1982, 1987, 1989,

    1990, 1993, 1996,



    • In each of those years there were Budget Reconciliation bills (deficit reducing budget cut bills) that reduced Farm Bill spending.

    • Two of those occurred simultaneously with the Farm Bill (1990 and 1996)

    • Until the 2005 version, most of the budget cuts were to commodity programs, but in 2005 conservation got hit hard.

    Question 2



    & $9 BILLION DEEP?


    • The Number of Programs with Direct Mandatory Farm Bill Funding in Current Farm Bill Cycle with No Funding Baseline after 2012

    • And the Dollar Value of those programs

      • Permanent Disaster “SURE” Payments Accounts for Half of the dollar volume

      • But also in the mix are ….(next slide)

    Zero baseline problem
    Zero Baseline Problem

    Wetlands Reserve Program Rural Energy for America Program

    Grasslands Reserve Program Biomass Crop Assistance Program

    CRP-Transition Incentives Program

    Value-Added Producer Grants

    Rural Micro-Enterprise Assistance

    Organic Data Initiative

    National Organic Certification Cost Share

    Farmers Market Promotion Program

    Outreach and Assistance for Minority Farmers

    Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program

    Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Program

    Specialty Crop Research Initiative

    Zero baseline strategy
    Zero Baseline - Strategy

    • Minimize Bleeding

    • Educate, educate, educate – then:

      • Pick and Choose – Consensus if Possible

      • Make each case on merits

      • But also package into a reinvestment portfolio

      • Intense focus – PROTECT OUR BASE!

    Markers trial balloons strategic initiatives
    Markers, Trial Balloons, & Strategic Initiatives

    • But we also need to get our best shots out there with strategically chosen sponsorstopush the envelope

    • In some cases, introduce as separate bills for purposes of:

      • Getting public discussion

      • Congressional organizing

      • Grassroots organizing

      • Creating sense of inevitability where possible

    Beginning farmer package
    Beginning Farmer Package

    • Work with Vilsack’s “100,000 New Farm” Goal

    • Chief Sponsors Already Lined Up

    • Increase Funding for the Development Program

    • Further Improve Credit, Risk Management, and Conservation Provisions

    • Improve Office of Advocacy & Outreach

    Local regional food package
    Local-Regional Food Package

    • Win back funding for direct marketing, value-added, organic, micro-lending

    • Coordinated set-asides within existing economic development programs for food infrastructure

    • Provide new funding avenues food hubs

    • Create an enterprise facilitation emphasis within Extension

    Conservation package
    Conservation Package

    • Funding for Wetlands Reserve Program

    • Perfecting Conservation Stewardship Program

    • Putting Tech Ass’t. in Sync with Financial Ass’t.

    • Targeting – Project-Based, Resource-Focused

    • Streamlining & Consolidation

    • Climate & Energy

    • Sodsaver

    Rural community prosperity fund
    Rural Community Prosperity Fund

    • Dedicated, Flexible $500 Million Fund

    • Geared to Poverty, Outmigration, Need

    • Inclusive of Regional Food Development

    • Half of One Percent of Total Funding

    Commodity reform and reinvestment package
    Commodity Reform and Reinvestment Package

    • Comprehensive Payment Limit Reform +

    • Progressive Counter-Cyclical Reductions =

    • Deficit Reduction + Reinvestment Fund

    Stay informed
    Stay Informed!

    Farm Bill Guides

    Farm Bill Implementation Center

    Blogs, Weekly Round-Up & Timely Action Alerts