Responding to successive cuts in federal funding, University of Minnesota Extension announced Monday it will scale back a program that helps low-income families make healthy, cost-effective food choices.
When it comes to faith in our democracy, this year has raised some eyebrows. In the case of food and agriculture policy, a disturbing fact emerges: Our democracy is increasingly a façade. Continue Reading
Now that the U.S. House’s farm bill theatrics are over, can Congress actually craft something that helps farmers, rural communities and people in need? And do it before the current bill expires at the end of September?
So what, exactly, did John Kline vote for when he and his regressive colleagues passed HR 2642, the House version of the Farm Bill? It is already known that he voted against the Food Stamp (“SNAP”) program. But what else did he vote for (or against)? Continue Reading
The Uptown Apartments in Silver Lake are among 35 multifamily housing entities in rural Minnesota that have learned they are a month away from losing rental assistance funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Farmfest is the largest farm show in Minnesota, bringing farmers together to talk about and see the latest in tractors, seeds, and other farm-related equipment. But Farmfest also brings out the politicians to talk about what is happening with agricultural policies and markets. With no farm bill in place, the question understandably on everyone’s minds at this year’s policy panel was “What’s next?” While the policymakers in attendance did a pretty good job of explaining how we got where we are today, the future of farm policy was left unclear. Continue Reading
Bipartisan pollsters have found rural Americans feel policymakers are ignoring them at a time when they need public infrastructure investments to compete and thrive in 21st century economic opportunities.
Nationally, SNAP recipients receive an average of less than $4.40 per day. The number is even less in Minnesota, around $3.86/day, about $1.30 per meal. One in seven American families struggles to put food on the table. The vast majority (83%) of households receiving SNAP, formally known as food stamps, are below the poverty line. Most families (90%) receiving SNAP run out of money for food by the third week every month. The program is not a giveaway: able bodied workers without dependents may be unemployed for no more than three months in order to remain eligible for SNAP. Illegal immigrants are not eligible for SNAP. Continue Reading
Unless farm groups, community organizations, faith-based groups and state and local governments weigh in on the debacle in Congress, a class warfare battle over who has access to the American pie—and our food—is going to get uglier, costlier and more damaging to future generations of Americans. Continue Reading
Talk about ignoring the elephant in the room. When Minnesota environmental officials announced the results of a new major nitrogen pollution study on Thursday, they were surprisingly frank about how bad the problem is, but just as surprisingly hesitant to name a major underlying cause: federal farm policy. Continue Reading