What’s in the Farm Bill?

The most recent Farm Bill, which was passed in 2014, is broken into 12 sections (called “titles”): commodities (price and income supports for dairy, sugar, and common crops like soybeans and grains); conservation; trade; nutrition; credit (federal loan programs); rural development; research; forestry; energy (particularly renewable energy); specialty crops and horticulture (fruits, vegetables, nuts, and organics); crop insurance; and miscellaneous.

The policies in each section, and the amount of money devoted to them (about $100 billion per year, overall), help determine what farmers decide to grow, and what Americans can afford to eat.

The current Farm Bill devotes about 80 percent of its resources to the nutrition title, which includes the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program—the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps)—as well as several smaller food assistance programs that similarly help Americans get enough to eat.