Connecting the Dots: Rob Verchick and Laurie Ristino Talk Food Security and Climate Change

by Matt Shudtz | May 15, 2018

CPR President Rob Verchick recently sat down to talk with one of our newest Member Scholars, Professor Laurie Ristino of Vermont Law School, about the connections between climate change, food security, and policymaking tools like the Farm Bill that could be better used to promote sustainable agricultural practices.

We’re excited to share an audio recording of that conversation here as a “soft launch” of a new product at CPR – our “Connect the Dots” podcast. It’s a work in progress. Our first mini-series will focus on climate change adaptation, with episodes coming soon that explore issues related to climate-driven displacement, migration, and relocation; occupational health and safety protections; and water quality restoration in the United States.

In this first episode, Verchick and Ristino:

  • Define food security (0:50)
     
  • Discuss the ways climate change affects food security, including changing rainfall, shifting growth seasons and crop yields, pests and pathogens, and more (2:13)
     
  • Share experiences from inside federal agencies, including at times when the realities on the ground clashed with political leadership’s distaste for talking about climate change (11:30)
     
  • Give a primer on the Farm Bill (15:55)
     
  • Wonder, are there ways to improve food security through the Farm Bill this year? (18:40)
     
  • Look at opportunities to alter crop insurance policies to drive sustainable agriculture practices (21:18)
     
  • Chat about the evolution and expansion of scholarship at ...

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

by Laurie Ristino | April 25, 2018
Last week, the House Agriculture Committee passed a pock-marked, micro-legislated Farm Bill along strict party lines. It's a shameful goody bag of legislative delights for a few that comes at the expense of the majority of the American people.  Some lowlights: The bill holds our hungriest Americans hostage by conditioning SNAP benefits (food stamps) on job training (what kind of country withholds food from its citizens?); reduces conservation dollars that are critically needed given the pitiful state of soil health ...

Is the Farm "Safety Net" Safe?

by Laurie Ristino | February 08, 2018
This blog post is part of a series on the 2018 Farm Bill. Since the 1930s, Congress has tried to formulate an effective farm “safety net,” oscillating among different schemes in order to protect farmers from the severe economic impacts of the Depression and the Dust Bowl. What started as a New Deal emergency intervention has become an entrenched legislative ritual. Indeed, this perennial Farm Bill debate remains a relic of 20th century policy. It’s designed to perpetuate, not to innovate. The ...

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) ...

Going dark on the farm: Farm Bill could cloak big ag in even more secrecy

by Anne Havemann | January 14, 2014
As congressional negotiators reconcile the House- and Senate-passed Farm Bills, they are considering two provisions that would cut off access to information about federally subsidized farm programs and threaten public health and safety. The Farm Bill will provide farmers with billions of dollars in federal subsidies, crop insurance, conservation payments, and other grants.  The vast majority of the farms that qualify for these federal dollars are incorporated businesses that turn a profit by working the land.  Yet, by conjuring up ...

Deconstructing Regulatory Science

Wagner | Jun 19, 2018 | Regulatory Policy

Agency U-Turns

Farber | Jun 18, 2018 | Regulatory Policy

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