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The Farm Bill Law Enterprise shapes legislation to better reflect the long-term needs of our society.

Every five or so years, Congress passes omnibus legislation known as the “farm bill,” which authorizes a broad array of programs and services that shape virtually every aspect of the American food and agricultural systems. 

Substantively engaging with the farm bill—and identifying viable steps toward reform—is difficult because the legislation is long, complex, and highly specialized. For this reason, the Farm Bill Law Enterprise (FBLE) brings together various academic and clinical programs with expertise in food, agriculture, nutrition, and the environment to work toward a farm bill that reflects a thoughtful consideration of the long-term needs of our society.  

We accomplish this mission through joint research, analysis, and advocacy, and by drawing on the experience of our members, collaboratively building deeper knowledge, and equipping the next generation of legal practitioners to engage with the farm bill. In addition, FBLE provides law students throughout the country with research opportunities through the Food Law Student Network. 

In October of 2022, the Farm Bill Law Enterprise published a series of reports that seek to infuse new ideas and amplify calls to action ahead of negotiations for the 2023 farm bill. The reports focus on five areas of action for the forthcoming bill: Climate & Conservation, Equity in Agricultural Production & Governance, Farm Viability, Farmworkers, and Food Access & Nutrition.

Researchers at CAFS, along with colleagues from Pace and Harvard law schools, co-authored the report on "Equity in Agricultural Production & Governance." It recommends policy measures for the 2023 farm bill that could expand access to land and credit for marginalized producers, including 1) addressing discrimination and advance equity across USDA programs; 2) mitigating loss of heirs' property; 3) facilitating farmland and ranchland transitions to systemically marginalized and beginning producers; 4) increasing accessibility and affordability of agricultural credit for systemically marginalized and beginning producers; 5) reinventing the county committee system of local agriculture governance; and 6) empowering 1980 and 1994 land-grant universities.

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PARTNERS: 

Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic  

Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic  

Harvard Law School Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic  

Health Law and Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School  

Pace University Elisabeth Haub School of Law, Food Law Initiative

UCLA School of Law, Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy  

University of Pittsburgh School of Law  

Yale Environmental Protection Clinic  

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