"The current farm law, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Act), was signed on December 20, 2018, and will remain in force through 2023, although some provisions extend beyond 2023. The 2018 Farm Act makes few major changes in agricultural and food policy. Nutrition policy, particularly the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), will continue with minor changes. Crop insurance options and agricultural commodity programs will exist much as under the 2014 Farm Act. All major conservation programs are continued, although some are modified significantly. Programs are expanded for trade, research and extension, energy, specialty crops, organic agriculture, local and regional foods, and beginning/socially disadvantaged/veteran farmers and ranchers."
The Agricultural Law Center recognizes the role the legal system has in shaping our food system, and provides legal information on “the full scope of food and agriculture, including marketing and finance;... soil and water conservation; land use and environmental issues; food safety; and federal farm programs.” The website links to information about food policy and local food movements, and has a section for the Center’s publications.
The Farmers’ Legal Action Group is a “nonprofit law center dedicated to providing legal services and support to family farmers and their communities in order to help keep family farmers on the land.” Their website provides legal information about organic farming, disaster assistance, and agricultural contracts, as well as links to numerous publications on a variety of topics, including conservation programs and family farming.
The Farm Foundation is a nonprofit organization that addresses policy issues in a number of agricultural areas, including local food systems. The website provides access to the Issue Report, a publication addressing the challenges of agriculture in rural America, as well as information from current projects looking at sustainable agriculture, food economics, and agricultural research.
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture’s website provides access to press releases, hearings, and legislation related to agriculture, including publications from the Subcommittee on Nutrition and Horticulture (formerly the Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture), which is responsible for organic agriculture, direct-marketing initiatives, and nutrition and consumer programs.
This blog, created by the American Agricultural Law Association, is comprehensive in its coverage of accurate and up-to-date news and research related to policy issues surrounding local foods, including food labeling, food safety, and nutrition programs.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is an advocacy organization that seeks federal policy reform to “advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.” In particular, their website provides information on “Marketing, Food Systems & Rural Development,” including local and regional food systems, organic production, farm-to-school programming, and food security issues.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry’s website provides access to legislation, hearings and news items related to agriculture, including information from the Subcommittee on Hunger, Nutrition and Family Farms, which is responsible for local and healthy food initiatives and hunger prevention and school and child nutrition programs.