Posted by Kelso Kelly

May 23rd, Club member Kirvin Knox was introduced by Dave Stewart.  Mr. Knox informed us that no bill had been passed yet so he addressed what may likely be in the bill with some additional color of various aspects that impact the content of the bill.  He informed us that there has been much analysis of the bill along with a heavy lobbying effort in support of the bill’s passage.  The bill is deemed a national security issue to ensure there is an adequate food supply.  The Farm Bill is the primary vehicle used to address issues around food adequacy in our country.

The first food bill was the Agricultural Adjustment Act passed in 1933 and it contained provisions to pay farmers for not growing food crops.  Some of the more interesting commodity food price comparisons from 1949 to 2017 are:  Corn, from $1.24/bushel to $3.36/bushel; cotton from $28.60/hundred weight to $67.40; milk from $.82/gallon to $3.23 and wheat from $1.88/bushel to $4.60.  The point was made that global commodity markets impact our prices and government subsidies kick in when the price goes below the cost of production.

The bill will likely have 10 sections called Titles. The various titles address biofuels, conservation, wildlife habitat, NAFTA, food stamps, credit (the Farm Credit System), rural development, forestry and horticulture.  We import half of our food in America from overseas and 42 million Americans are “food insecure”, meaning their household incomes are insufficient to feed their families.