When people talk about the federal farm bill, they’re not covering nearly enough territory. That’s the opinion of an authority on the matter — USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.
He prefers to call it the Food, Farm and Jobs Bill. That’s “because it really deals with all of those issues,” says Vilsack.
Only 15% of the USDA’s total budget goes specifically to farm programs, he says.
A new farm bill is being crafted to replace the current legislation, which expires in September. It will cover five years, and deals with crops — primarily corn, wheat, cotton, rice and soybeans — but also addresses human health, environmental stewardship, land preservation, animal welfare, international trade and energy conservation issues.
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