Washington, D.C. – The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) issued the following statement by former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, Co-chair of BPC’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Initiative, regarding the passage of the bipartisan farm bill, the Agricultural Act of 2014.
“After years of negotiations, I am very pleased to see Congress finally pass a new five-year farm bill and commend Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-MS), House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank D. Lucas (R-OK) and Ranking Member Collin C. Peterson (D-MN), and their staff for their bipartisan collaboration and efforts on this legislation. This is the first farm bill conference report since 2008 and the first formal conference report of the 113th Congress. It’s an important bipartisan accomplishment that shows Congress can work together and make difficult compromises to move legislation forward.”
“While this is not a perfect bill, its passage was critical for our nation’s agriculture infrastructure. I’m glad to see the bill will allow low-income Americans to double their SNAP benefits at farmers markets, which will help tens of thousands of people eat more nutritious foods. However, I believe there is still a fundamental disconnect between the nation’s farm policies and critical issues of public health and nutrition. America’s food and agriculture system face long-term challenges.”
“Now that this bill is passed, I hope we can start a real dialogue about ways to create a forward-thinking approach to connecting federal agriculture policy and efforts to promote healthy dietary choices and ways to feed a growing world sustainably. In the future, I hope to see more congressional support for increasing efforts to align nutrition program guidelines and incentives with the federal dietary guidelines. We must also ensure that the nation’s hungry always have access to a reasonable food safety net.”