Farm Policy & Agricultural Politics

Useful sources of up to date information about farm policy and agricultural politics from a variety of perspectives are listed here. DTN/The Progressive Farmer is a website and monthly print magazine that provides excellent, detailed, and objective information as well as thoughtful editorials about all aspects of agriculture specifically geared toward farmers and other agricultural professionals. Because they seek to present “the big picture”, there is an emphasis on conventional commodity crops, which make up the vast majority of American agricultural production. But their political analysis runs the gamut, and is very well informed. (some articles and editorials are free, while others require a subscription). The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition represents a well informed collection of respected organizations, and presents up to date information about the farm bill and the and current issues in agricultural politics with particular emphasis on sustainable food and farming through their website publications as well as their constantly updated blog (http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/). The Farm and Food Policy Project is a project of the Northeast-Midwest Institute. Originally formed through the collaborative work of non-profit policy reform groups interested in analysis and advocacy related to the 2007-2008 Farm Bill; it has continued as a fantastic source for information updates and many well written documents related to all aspects of farm and food policy, legislation, and politics. The National Agricultural Law Center, in partnership with the National Agricultural Library, provides a vast database of free information and documents about agriculture and farming in all of its legal and legislative facets. It is an essential destination for anyone interested in delving deeply into agricultural law and policy. Its Farm Bill Resource Page alone is unequaled in its comprehensive presentation of documents, history, and legal text. This is fantastic resource for detailed information. The Agricultural Policy Analysis Center (APAC) at the University of Tennessee provides policy analysis on a wide range of agricultural topics. In particular, farmers may find the weekly “policy pennings” of interest, which can be accessed on the side bar on the APAC main page. APAC was established in 1992 and strives to help farmers understand the “external factors that will influence their agricultural business decisions.” The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future focuses on the nexus of federal agricultural and food policy and public health. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides news releases, reports and publications on a wide range of topics, many of which relate either directly or indirectly to farm, food, and agricultural politics, and policy issues. The USDA Economic Research Service has an excellent collection of information and papers about the farm bill process and the contents of the bill, with detailed documents highlighting economic and political implications of farm bill policies. Farmpolicy.com used to be without equal for those seeking the most up to date inside information about current agriculture and farm policy in summary form. Unfortunately, the site is no longer being updated. The site provided new information almost daily accessible to anyone with some general knowledge about agricultural politics and policies. It provided access to more detailed information for “wonks” through links to articles, hearings, and interviews, as well as a collection of original articles about the farm bill and more.