Protecting Food. Empowering Whistleblowers.

Food Integrity Campaign Blog

Part 2: The Farm Bill: What it is and why you should care 

Food Integrity Campaign | January 24, 2023


Read our previous blog post for an introduction to the Farm Bill.  

The Problem

The truth is government agricultural policies have created a food system that looks like the opposite of what we hoped for. The Farm Bill has prioritized a U.S. agricultural system that grows feed for multinational livestock corporations by subsidizing their operations. In plain terms, an overwhelming amount of food grown goes into animal production rather than onto our plates. We funnel most of our taxpayer dollars for agriculture into an “industrial meat-feed complex”—which our food whistleblowers routinely attest is an unsustainable industrial production model.

Here are some facts:
  • The majority of government funding and taxpayer-backed agriculture programs currently support intensive livestock and poultry production or the production of grains to feed these animals, usually to support large factory farms.
  • In 2017, almost 90% of cereal grains grown on U.S. soil were used for purposes other than human food.
  • In 2019, roughly $3 billion in federal dollars went towards subsidized industrialized livestock production, which the majority of people consider to be inhumane.
  • Additionally, in 2019 we spent $2.2 billion subsidizing exports, the vast majority of which are livestock feed or meat products.

The Farm Bill #FairShake 

In the past two years, you’ve been critical in advocating for farmers to get their fair shake. You should know that the agricultural policies entrenched in past Farm Bills trap our farmers too. Like our farmer whistleblower clients, many U.S. farmers felt they have no choice but to adopt failed policies. Consequently, they have remained in a model of farming that pollutes their land, harms animals, and produces feed for livestock instead of food for neighboring families. Farmers deserve the freedom to choose what to grow and have a way out of this industrial agricultural model. We can support our farmers by ensuring that they have the tools and resources they need to escape the industrial feed-meat complex and profitably grow nutritious foods for their communities.

We hope you’re better informed on some of the problems with our Farm Bill. Stay tuned for our next blog in this series where we’ll share how the food system issues you care about can be addressed with policy reforms in the upcoming Farm Bill.


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