The Sustainable Farm Bill: A Proposal for Permanent Environmental Change
17 Pages Posted: 28 May 2009 Last revised: 17 Feb 2013
This article provides a holistic analysis of the United States Farm Bill that highlights the grave societal and environmental implications of buttressing our nation's industrial agricultural system with ever-larger commodity subsidies. Specifically, this article first provides a brief history of both American agriculture and the Farm Bill as context for the vast structural shift that has occurred in our nation's farming and food systems over the past century. Next, the article examines the severe environmental consequences of a subsidized industrial agricultural system, including impacts to water, soil, land, biodiversity, and greenhouse gas emissions. The article concludes by re-centering the discussion on Farm Bill reform by proposing an innovative policy solution that can single-handedly solve many of the environmental problems identified in the preceding chapter.
Keywords: Farm Bill, environmental degradation, industrial agriculture, megafarm, water, soil, wildlife impacts, erosion, sedimentation, pollution, sustainable agriculture, organic farming, climate change mitigation
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