Farm Bill 2018: Down Payment on an Effective Conservation Title

by Laurie Ristino | January 17, 2018

This blog post is the first in a forthcoming series on the 2018 Farm Bill.

As Congress begins the complex task of crafting the next Farm Bill, much is at stake – from conservation to "food stamps" to rural economies. This blog post is the first in a series addressing important policy considerations with an eye toward making the Farm Bill more effective, rather than backsliding on these and other important issues.

President Obama once referred to the current (2014) Farm Bill as a "Swiss Army knife" because of the many areas of American life that it touches. Another way to think of the omnibus legislation, passed roughly every four to five years, is as a food security bill.

Food security is a helpful framework to foster improved policy coherence in the next Farm Bill across a breadth of policy areas. A food-secure Farm Bill is one that provides for effective conservation on agricultural working lands, strong rural economies, and healthy food access for all Americans. In order to attain food security, the various titles of the Farm Bill need to work together, but in reality, fundamental inconsistencies exist among the legislation's titles.

For example, the Farm Bill's crop insurance "safety net" title, as implemented, rewards poor stewardship while the law's conservation title tries to address environmental harms caused by that agricultural production. The conservation title does this by authorizing and funding voluntary programs that provide ...

Legacy Goods and the Environment

by Daniel Farber | January 28, 2016
The value of some goods like wilderness today depends on their futures. Normally, economists imagine, equal experiences become less valuable as they recede further into the future.  But some types of goods don’t have that kind of relationship with future experiences.  They can become more valuable as they extend farther into to the future. Take this blog post, for example.  I’m really happy that you’re reading it today.  But it will be even cooler if someone reads it ten years ...

Next Steps for America’s Great Outdoors

by Robert Verchick | February 21, 2011
If you’ve ever visited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park—one of the most visited national parks in the United States—you have Horace Kephart and George Masa to thank. These two men, the first a travel writer, the second a landscape photographer from Osaka, Japan, each settled among those six-thousand foot peaks with intentions of starting a new life in the American wild. Unfortunately, the timber industry had gotten there first and was soon mowing down forests at the rate of 60 ...

Workers' Memorial Day 2018

Tracy | Apr 25, 2018 | Workers' Rights

Recipe: Turning the House's Lemon of a Farm Bill into Lemonade

Ristino | Apr 25, 2018 | Environmental Policy

Scholars Call Out Congressional Committee for 'Mythification' of NEPA

Goodwin | Apr 24, 2018 | Environmental Policy

Promoting Energy Innovation

Farber | Apr 13, 2018 | Energy

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