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Published under: Farm Bill
Planting the Seeds for Public Health: How the Farm Bill Can Help Farmers to Produce and Distribute Healthy Foods
August 1, 2010

This report offers a legal analysis of the 2008 Farm Bill and explains key agriculture and nutrition programs that were enacted into law. The report was commissioned by Healthy Eating Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Key findings include:

  • Fruit and vegetable farmers lack a safety net to protect them from natural disasters in a manner comparable to programs that are available for farmers producing major commodity crops, such as corn, soybeans and wheat;
  • Crop insurance, disaster assistance, and loan and conservation programs are not designed to address the unique characteristics of fruit and vegetable production and marketing; and
  • Nutrition program expenditures are not adequately directed to ensure children, including those from low-income households, receive healthy food.

In addition to providing policy recommendations to help farmers grow and distribute fruits and vegetables, the report emphasizes that many of the recommended changes could be made by the USDA without the need for additional direction from Congress. However, if such policy changes do not occur, Congress will need to make changes in the reauthorization of the Farm Bill.

The report can be downloaded at no charge from FLAG’s Web site. A bound copy of the book is available for $20 plus shipping and handling, and orders may be placed by calling FLAG’s office at 651-223-5400 or directly through FLAG’s online publisher,

* Citations located in the downloadable document