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General Farm Policy

This topic includes policies relating to farming that are broader than the specific categories described on the Food & Agriculture page. Many are less obviously related to emissions but support a healthy food system as a whole, which is essential to both mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Vote to identify shared goals.

Sub Topics

 Market Stability

. Regulate food prices, including removing market barriers across local regions or markets, ensuring access to price information and early warning systems, implementing strict regulations against over-speculations, international management of food stocks, revisions of biofuel subsidies and tariffs to avoid diversion of food to energy use, and establishing social protection schemes, insurance programmes, and other safety nets.

Documents: D30

. Regulate to reduce financial speculation in food and agriculture.

Documents: D14

. Ensure parity pricing, supply management, and equitable access to land, credit and markets, addressing historic economic and racial inequalities.

Documents: D4 D16

. Establish market price supports through nonrecourse loans for wheat, feed-grains, soybeans, oilseeds, cotton and rice, capped at monetary limits to ensure targeting for family farms.

Documents: D90

. Ensure international commodity agreements set price floors, include supply management, and provide for international reserves.

Documents: D90

. Secure fair markets, fair prices, and fair wages for all farmers and farmworkers to enable economically stable livelihoods.

Documents: D13 D14

. Secure fair pricing and contracts for livestock, produce and seafood.

Documents: D14

. Ensure food prices reflect the true costs of food, review and remove subsidies on fertilisers, water, fuels, electricity, and pesticides, and account for environmental and social health costs.

Documents: D30

. Ensure trade policy allows for limitation on imports of specific commodities to protect the fair domestic market price for domestic farmers.

Documents: D90

 Family Farms

. Promote federal agency procurement from independent family farms.

Documents: D90

. Exclude gains from gross income from the sale of permanent conservation easements and farm property sold to beginning, socially disadvantaged, veteran, and young farmers.

Documents: DB138

. Farm bill and trade policy must address the weak economic position of indebted family farmers.

Documents: D90

. Ensure that food safety rules and federal subsidies support small and mid-sized farmers, fishers and regional food systems, including expanding training and technical assistance, making certifications more affordable and accessible, and reducing penalty fines.

Documents: D4 D14 D15

. Reform the agricultural subsidy system so that more money goes to small and medium-sized farmers.

Documents: D16

. Change the national farm policy to support diversified sustainable family farms, instead of huge corporate crop plantations and giant industrialized livestock confinements and feedlots.

Documents: DB3 D13 D17 D90

. Better fund and expand the Farmer Opportunity Training and Outreach program that helps coordinate USDA training and education for beginning, veteran, and socially disadvantaged farmers.

Documents: D16

. Create a disaster relief program for all family farms.

Documents: D90

. Expand local food system development with support for community-designed sustainable agriculture.

Documents: D14 D84

. Fully fund farm and fishing supply programs to reach public schools, hospitals, prisons, tribal schools, including traditional foods, and marginalized farmers, fishers, and ranchers.

Documents: D14 D16

. Exempt local food producers from state licensing and inspection for sales direct from producer to customers for home consumption or community events.

Documents: D16

. Create supply chains for small food retailers, including those owned by historically marginalized groups.

Documents: D84

. Create programs, including access to legal, technical and relending, to help inheritors of farm land to retain their land.

Documents: D16

. Offer financial support to collectively owned food production and cooperatives.

Documents: D13 D84

. Create regional food chain initiatives by expanding financing, technical assistance, and procurement support for community owned and socially disadvantaged farmers, fishers, and ranchers.

Documents: D14

. Promote and fund worker-owned food and agricultural cooperatives.

Documents: D14

. Secure and protect land access and non-predatory credit and capital for independent producers, particularly producers of color.

Documents: D13 D14

 Funding & Research

. Require publicly funded research institutions to focus on changing the food system to mitigate GHG emissions, and to be climate resilient, biodiverse and healthy.

Documents: D13

. Support public research institutions with sufficient funding so they do not depend on licensing their intellectual property to the private sector.

Documents: D13

. Keep taxpayer funded agricultural research in the public domain.

Documents: D13 D120

. Establish grassland reserve programs with 30 year payment contracts that promote sustainable grazing systems, protect and enhance soil carbon levels, and are compatible with wildlife habitat conservation.

Documents: DB138

. Establish insurance premium discounts for risk-reduction farming practices such as use of cover crops, crop and grazing rotations, composting and soil health protection.

Documents: DB138

. Establish grant and technical assistance programs for climate mitigation and adaptation, environmental conservation, air quality, innovative technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and soil health, with targeting to beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, including tribes.

Documents: DB138

. Conduct a study of the feasibility of developing a credit against tax to incentivize carbon capture on farms and ranches, and make recommendation within one year.

Documents: DB138

. Provide grants for agricultural climate adaptation and mitigation for small and medium-sized dairy, livestock, and crop operations, covering infrastructure, ecosystem-based strategies, conservation and carbon sequestration in soil.

Documents: DB138

. Fully implement the Conservation Security Program, offering rewards for existing practices and new incentives targeted at working lands, sustainable bio-energy and local food production.

Documents: D90

. Expand the USDA's Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) for local infrastructure-building projects.

Documents: D16

. Create financial incentives for co-op grocery stores.

Documents: D16

. Invest in local food processing facilities, including slaughter and dairy processing.

Documents: D16

. Create financial support for on-farm processing.

Documents: D16

. Equalize and expand access to crop insurance, technical assistance, low interest credit, and technical assistance for independent producers, particularly producers of color.

Documents: D14

. Stop subsidies for agribusinesses for fuel and livestock feed.

Documents: D4

. Reform federal farm subsidy programs, including the federal crop insurance program, so that they equally support diverse growing practices and all farmers, including farmers of color, small and midsize farmers, and independent and historically underserved farmers.

Documents: D14

. Reform agricultural subsidies to further strong economic development, climate, and biodiversity goals.

Documents: D31

. Create access to affordable credit for beginning and minority farmers.

Documents: D90

 Ecosystems & Habitat

. Reduce rates of conversion of agricultural land to development, and grassland to cropping, by 80% by 2030 and 100% by 2040.

Documents: DB138

. Increase funding for research and public awareness of expected climate impacts on agriculture.

Documents: D99 DB138

. Establish a national network of regional hubs for climate change adaptation and mitigation to support farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, and other agriculture and natural resource managers.

Documents: DB138

. Implement seasonal forecasts and early warning systems to monitor weather, pests, and diseases.

Documents: D76

. Create city and state food resilience plans.

Documents: D99

. Provide grants for farm viability and local climate resiliency centers to enhance the development, coordination, and expansion of markets for commodities and farm products that significantly improve soil health and carbon sequestration.

Documents: DB138

. Ensure public agricultural education services support agroecology and regenerative agriculture, including farmer-to-farmer teaching.

Documents: D13 D76 D99 DB138

. Create a soil health grant program for state and tribal governments, including crop insurance discounts.

Documents: DB138

. Establish a research, education, extension, and outreach initiative to increase the resilience of agriculture and the food system in the context of a changing climate and related economic, social, and environmental shocks.

Documents: DB138

. Require that grants under the Agricultural Research, Extension and Education Reform Act for pest management prioritize ecologically based approaches that are effective, affordable, and environmentally sound, maintain agricultural productivity and healthy communities, and improve climate resilience.

Documents: DB138

. Fund urban farms and community and rooftop gardens.

Documents: D9 DB51

. Protect and restore natural ecosystems and limit shift of land use to agriculture.

Documents: D86

. Support protection of native habitats with credit and other agricultural assistance.

Documents: D86

. Develop detailed tools that guide agricultural zoning and roadbuilding away from natural ecosystems.

Documents: D86

. Create loan concessions for reforestation of agricultural lands.

Documents: D86

. Protect regional farmland from encroaching development.

Documents: D99

 Antitrust Protection

. Place a moratorium on new factory farms.

Documents: D16

. Ensure representation of farmers, workers, and consumers on government advisory bodies.

Documents: D14

. Enforce antitrust laws against increasing corporate concentration and vertical integration in the food industry from production and processing to marketing and retailing.

Documents: D13 D14 D84 D90 DB136

. Ban ownership of livestock by packing companies and contractual control over supply prices.

Documents: D90

. Reform patent law to prevent predatory lawsuits by big corporations intent on monopolizing the seed market.

Documents: D16

. Ensure that big chemical, seed, and meat companies are not writing the rules for local rural communities.

Documents: D4

. Create national right-to-repair law that gives farmers the right to repair their own equipment and retain full rights over the machinery they buy.

Documents: D16

. Reinstate the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) to provide basic protections for farmers.

Documents: D16

 Labeling

. Create "country of origin labeling" for all agriculture.

Documents: D16 D90

. Standardize and enforce food labeling regarding conditions of animal raising, such as grass-fed, organic, free-range, animal welfare, etc.

Documents: DB138

. Require large supermarkets to label food for carbon and nutrition, reduce plastic, decabonize transport, ensure living wage for agricultural workers, with effective enforcement.

Documents: D120

 Farmers’ & Workers’ Rights

. Create farmer debt forgiveness programs for cases of discrimination.

Documents: D14

. Support smaller and independent producers to pay a living wage to farmworkers.

Documents: D14

. Ensure equitable access to farm programs for all farmers, and address historical and current civil rights complaints.

Documents: D90

. Farmers who produce under contract should have the right to fair arbitration clauses, contract transparency, and other rights currently denied.

Documents: D90

. Strengthen public access to knowledge and material resources to address agroecological needs, developed by universities with local communities.

Documents: D13

. Allow food workers to form unions.

Documents: D13

. Transform the civil rights offices at the USDA into agencies that address discrimination rather than cover it up.

Documents: D16

 Land Access

. Address the issue of valuing farmland for development and recreational uses.

Documents: D90

. Invest in a community land trust model to ensure open access to land that can be used for cultivation.

Documents: D84

. Fully fund land-grant institutions to work in the public interest.

Documents: D14

. Turn all empty urban land not slated for housing over to community agriculture.

Documents: D66

. Place moratorium on farm land foreclosures with an independent review on cause and effect, particularly for farmers of color.

Documents: D14

. Create no-interest loans for beginning farmers and a land trust that buys land from retiring farmers, for use by beginning farmers, with benchmarks for Native Americans, African Americans and other socially disadvantaged groups.

Documents: D16

. Create incentives for community ownership of farmland.

Documents: D16

. Strengthen existing credit lending, land access rights, and equipment aid aimed at socially disadvantaged farmers.

Documents: D13

. Provide land reparations for indigenous communities and people of color who have been denied the opportunity to purchase land for farming.

Documents: D13

 Cropping Strategies

. Establish effective regional crop breeding systems that enable farmers to select alternative crop varieties specifically adapted to local conditions.

Documents: D86

. Create strategies to encourage higher cropping intensity and frequency.

Documents: D86

. Increase funding for research into new and improved crop varieties that can withstand heat, drought, flood, and other extreme weather events.

Documents: D30 D86

 Trade Policy

. Change trade policy to rebuild and protect local food systems, and add transparent processes for public review and input.

Documents: D14

. Farm bill and trade policy must address global destruction of ecosystems for new production.

Documents: D90

. Set standards to prevent import of commodities grown on protected lands or lands converted from natural ecosystems to farming.

Documents: D86 DB109

. Create trade policy that favors meeting domestic demands for food, fuel and feed using domestic and local suppliers.

Documents: D13

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