Farm Policy Roundup – August 16, 2013

Rancher with lassoJoin American Farmland Trust in Telling Congress: Pass the Farm Bill!

Congress is in the middle of its month-long August recess, and legislators left without finishing major farm and food legislation.  We cannot allow this bill to stall and risk the billions of dollars it would invest in farmland protection and important reforms it contains like relinking conservation compliance to crop insurance premium assistance.

If you have not already, please join American Farmland Trust in sending more than 10,000 letters to members of Congress during the August recess, supporting a finished Farm Bill.

We are making great progress toward our goal, but we need your help. Be one of the 10,000 voices demanding that Congress finishes the Farm Bill when they return to Washington, D.C. in September!

USDA Releases Annual “Expenditures on Children by Families” Report

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its annual report, Expenditures on Children by Families, also known as the Cost of Raising a Child. The report shows that a middle-income family with a child born in 2012 can expect to spend about $241,080 for food, shelter, and other necessities associated with child-rearing expenses over the next 17 years.

Cow Power Documentary Premieres Online
A new film titled Cow Power premiered online August 13, telling the story of Vermont dairy farmers who are using anaerobic digesters to convert their cow’s manure into electricity and valuable by-products.

The film is narrated by former Vermont Governor Jim Douglas and features 2012 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award winner Marie Audet of Blue Spruce Farm and U.S. Dairy Sustainability Council member Bob Foster of Foster Brothers Farm. Blue Spruce was the first dairy farm to participate in the successful Central Vermont Public Service’s Cow Power program, which allows consumers to purchase renewable energy generated on a dairy farm.  The film can be viewed online at


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  • Random Quote

    Changes in the 2012 Farm Bill appear both likely and may be significant, if not radical. Our country’s economic situation will be the most significant driver and agent of change in the 2012 Farm Bill. — Jon Scholl, President, American Farmland Trust