Greetings. Here we are with Section B of the Food and Farm Bill and Policy talk. And the focus of Section B is what is in the 2014 Farm Bill? And we're going to walk you through it, but here's the big picture. It's the $956 billion bill over the course of ten years, 959 pages. So it's basically a billion dollars a page. And there are, although as we'll discuss those pages there, pages that are worth a heck of a lot more than a billion dollars and some that don't get so much money on them. There's twelve titles, I highlighted in red the ones that I'm going to spend time with here. But when I describe this earlier as an omnibus bill, just looking at the list of titles that are in the Farm Bill gives you a sense of the diversity of issues that are included within the Farm Bill. And here's a quote from president Obama he says, "It's like a Swiss Army knife.". Health and Nutrition, Research, Jobs, Infrastructure, Conservation, Innovation and Safety Net. It's all there. So here is the Farm Bill Spending by Title. And if you look at this, just think to yourself for a second about what you think is that red slice of pie? Wat's that biggest section? And if you thought to yourself that that was probably the subsidies, then that would be wrong. The answer is that that is SNAP or what used to be known as Food Stamps and other nutrition programs occupy the vast majority of Farm Bill Spending. The second biggest sector is crop insurance, which has newly grown, as I'll discuss in a few minutes from something that was significantly smaller. Conservation is there after that and then commodities and everything else. So you can see that, even though we think of the Farm Bill as in some ways an Agriculture Bill, food security is really dominating it. And that plays an important role in the politics of the Farm Bill and the ability to get a Farm Bill passed, as I'll discuss in the next section in section C. So going back to that five point framework. Food security, what we eat, environmental sustainability and environmental health, equity and rural income and quality of life. I'm going to walk you through what's in the Farm Bill on each of those areas. And I'm going to start with Food Security. When we think about Food Security in the Farm Bill, a lot of people wouldn't even necessarily categorize that within the area of public health, because there's the food security piece and then there's the nutrition piece. And it should be obvious the tremendous health impacts of food and security, but sometimes we get so focused on thinking about nutrition that we don't recognize that. So I just want to emphasize that have 14 and a half percent categorized as food-insecure and a lot more than that with relatively low socio-economic status. And when you're food-insecure, there are higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, depression, adult anxiety, asthma, cognitive impairment, behavioral problems in children, the list goes on. And I'd say that food insecurity was the crocks of the 2014 Farm Bill politically. The SNAP program, which I described you earlier serves 47 million people a month. 42% of them are children and 9% of them are seniors. And it's documented to reduce food insecurity quite substantially. And it doesn't necessarily give people enough money to feed themselves over the course of a month, but it makes a big difference. And the other piece of SNAP that's really important to think about that, I think gets forgotten very easily is how big of an impact it has on urban and other economies and on jobs. Because if you have SNAP benefits, then you are spending those benefits. Some people that are wealthier that have money maybe they put it in the bank or something, like that. If you have SNAP benefits, those are going to get spent. And so that's a lot of money, millions of dollars going into urban economies that wouldn't necessarily be there where people might have gotten food, I don't know, out of the voluntary sector, whatever, or. So SNAP is very important, economically. SNAP spending doubled over the course of five years from 2007 to 2012, this is primarily, because of the recession. And so within the Farm Bill, there was a real pressure to have a huge cut in snap within the Farm Bill and what ultimately came out was a eight and a half billion dollar cut, which was a lot higher than a lot of people wanted to see and a lot lower than a lot of people wanted to see. And what this amounted to was about $90 a month for 850,000 people through administrative change and I'm going to come back to in a second. And that's the main bulk of the way they paid for that eight and a half billion dollar cut and that was a big way that they were going to save money in this Farm Bill. Other pieces of the Farm Bill also prohibited the government from sponsoring SNAP outreach to let people know about their eligibility, which is many of us might consider to be a problematic change. And then on other aspects of domestic Food Security, there was a $200 million increase in funds for food banks and there was funds increased also for, emergency feeding programs or the program known as TEFAP. So what happened after the Farm Bill, just to give you a little preview of the politics section. So this administrative change that I mentioned was through this little twist in SNAP policy, which basically said that if a state gives people funding through the local income home energy assistance program, like a, a utility assistance program. Anybody who gets money through this program is automatically eligible for SNAP and this applied in 14 states and the District of Columbia. And so in this new Farm Bill they said, you know, some of these states have just said we're going to give you a dollar in LIHEAP and therefore, you're going to be eligible for SNAP. So that's a pretty good deal for us, because we're, our state's going to get all these economic benefits, you're going to get food and then that's how we're going to work it. So the new change said, no, you have to be getting at least $20 a year in LIHEAP not $1 a year. So when you think about the numbers of people that would add up to a lot of extra money for those states and so they were thinking we could get, you know, $1.2 billion in cuts as a result of this. So a lot of the states said, you know, even though we would have to pay, you know, this extra money. We are going to raise the minimum LIHEAP to $20. And so they pay that extra money, but they would get all those economic benefits that I mentioned earlier. So the whole Farm Bill was, in some ways premised on getting this huge savings. And suddenly, maybe this huge savings is going to be significantly cut into by these state's getting wise. So it will be interesting to see how that plays out in the future. There is several programs within SNAP also that work to bring healthy foods to people who are food insecure. And one of them is a stocking requirement. This is an, an interesting approach, where they basically said that if you're a store that's accepting SNAP benefits, then you have to have, you know, at least seven items in all these four categories. Basically, you have to have fresh food available in your store. So obviously, supermarkets already have that, but maybe a small corner store didn't have fresh food available, but that store did use to accept SNAP. And they want to continue accepting SNAP, so they're going to find a way to bring in these fresh foods into their store. So basically, what that does is bring in fresh foods to underserved areas. So that's a pretty clever strategy. Another thing that's in there is the Food Insecurity Nutrition Initiative. And, and I should say that Stocking requirement, actually I became engaged in that, because a MPH student that I worked with did her capstone on that project and then she ended up publishing it. And we ended up being able to use that in public comment to the USDA as they were developing this. And who knows how much we actually influenced it. But it just kind of gives you a sense that even as an MPH student, the work that you're doing can have real impact in these kind of policy situations. So the Food and Security Nutrition Initiative is a $20 million piece of legislation and it basically says that if you're a SNAP recipient, you're buying produce. Possibly in a supermarket, possibly in a farmers market will match the money. And so the details of how that's going to work out are being finalized. But basically, those kinds of programs have been developed a lot within farmers markets as you'll probably here about later in the course. And it's nice that they've written this into the Farm Bill, although $20 million is in some ways a drop in the bucket given the size of the Farm Bill and the size of the population, but it's money. They fully funded SNAP-ED, which provides nutrition education to SNAP recipients and they said that you can accept SNAP benefits for food delivery. So this is something that we've done in Baltimore where you can order your food online and have it delivered into a low food access area, whereas previously the way that the regulation was written, you couldn't do that. The reason was that they thought that that could set something up for fraud, but at this point in time, it's a really beneficial switch. And we're so used to buying things online that this really kind of fits in with the way we do things now. So one more piece on food insecurity, I want to talk about international food aid. So the funding for international food aid in the Farm Bill reaches at least 65 million people around the globe every year. And traditionally by law, almost all that food had to come out of US agriculture. because remember, starting in 1973, there's this idea that we want to plant as much as possible and then sell it abroad if we can't sell it here. The challenge is that if we sell it or even give it away abroad, that undermines the local farmers, because then they can't get that same money for their produce that they would have gotten if they were just selling it and we weren't undercutting them. So it's also very environmentally unsound to put it on a ship and ship it, you know, with cooling and everything else around the world. And it took a long time to get shipments where they needed to go and good local food could remain unpurchased while we're waiting for our food to get there. So building on a smaller program that had been in the 2008 Farm Bill, we said okay, let's put $80 million a year into purchasing that food locally and so will use money, cash will go into those countries instead of the actual food itself. And so this is going to assist a lot more people to save a lot of money and get that food to people faster. Okay. So the second piece of that five point structure is What We Eat. And a lot of people when they think about how the Farm Bill affects what we eat, there's a common question. They say, why doesn't the Farm Bill reflect the dietary guidelines? Why does what we eat look like the second plate and what role could the Farm Bill play in shifting what we eat? And people often notice and talk about the fact that fruits and vegetable prices are going up while prices for things, like soda are going down. To what extent does Farm Bill policy play into that? And the bogeyman in all of this has always been the subsidies, the direct payment subsidies, primarily. And in this Farm Bill actually, the subsidies were removed completely. Why were they removed? I think one of the main reasons that they were removed was because they had been so demonized. And can we get farmers the assistance that they needed in another way that's not so demonized? Which is basically what happened is that we shifted from subsidies to crop insurance. And when we think about subsidies, I should say, there's a lot of subsidies in the Farm Bill and it's not just the direct payment is what we would typically think of as subsidies. But everything else on this slide is also a kind of subsidy credit, disaster assistance, marketing assistance, environmental subsidies. All those things in some ways are subsidizing production. So is there any reason to support commodity crops, like corn that have been used in a lot of the unhealthy foods that may be contributing to the obesity epidemic and so on? And there are some reasons and here's just the kind of rationale that even from a public health perspective, one might use. And the first thing is we want to keep those farmers farming and we need some kind of safety net. And having those farmers farming means not only that, that food is being produced it, means those farmers are making a living and those rural economies are functioning. The second reason for supporting commodity crops is that the way things have gone, agribusiness has created a situation where crops are sold below the cost of production. And farmers don't have the power to change that. So the corn price averages 23% below production costs, over this period, for example from 97 to 2005. So why would a farmer even continue to produce corn if they're getting so little money? And one reason is because they've already got so many costs invested in it. And they're hoping maybe the price will go up in the future. And another reason is because, you know, we need them to produce those crops because we do need corn, even though we may, it, it may be going into some unhealthy foods. So if we can support them, we can kind of keep them going. But the underlying cause why did the prices to be able to be pushed down so low. And if you go back to this removal of the supply management mechanisms and this basic tendency in farming to over production. Produce, produce, produce and prices go down. And so what we found is that price drops and price volatility actually preceded the high subsidies. And it wasn't that we paid subsidies and therefore, prices were low. It's that prices were low. Farmers needed something and the subsidies came in as a safety net. So one of the things that we think about a lot within public health and that's almost taken as an unquestioned truth is that one of the chief causes of obesity is farm subsidies. And I just want to sort of present the two sides of this argument. And the evidence, believe it or not is very strong that the farm subsidies are not driving obesity. There are pieces within farm policy that are important, as I'll discuss. But here's what happens. Subsidies do play some role in what's planted. And the overproduction and low prices, which again aren't caused by subsidies, but are maybe to some extent enabled by them. Do mean that if certain products can be bought for a low price, then a food processor would have an incentive to use those ingredients in their food product. So there's probably some impact on processed food ubiquity on the marketing of those foods that can be made most cheaply and the concentrated power in the food industry, because it's enabling that concentrated power. And that concentrated power in turn has some role in enabling the obesity epidemic. We also have barriers within the farm program that make it difficult to import sugar and so that actually drives up the price of sugar and that makes high fructose corn syrup cheaper as a result compared to sugar. So because high fructose corn syrup is cheaper than sugar, it may have some effect on the fact that we have a lot of high fructose corn syrup in our products. Now the evidence is very mixed on whether high fructose corn syrup has any kind of worse effect on something, like obesity than plain old sugar. And I don't know for sure whether that's been settled, I believe it's still up in the air with a lot of different findings on both sides of that. So that's on the yes side, but here's the evidence on the no side. And again, this was counter intuitive to me as well, but there's a lot of research on this and it's, you cannot find a rigorous well performed study that shows that subsidies drive obesity. And some of the reasons are that basically the farm price has a very minimal impact on the food price. So the farmer's not getting a lot of that money, so maybe two to four cents on the dollar. So if you have some little shift in that two to four cents on the dollar, the overwhelming price of that food product is still not going to change that much even if that two to four cents changes, you know, down to one and a half to three and a half cents, for example. Food price also has a minimal impact on purchasing for a lot of people. Not to say that food prices aren't important, but if you're talking about half a cent or a penny, or a couple pennies difference, it often doesn't really shift people's purchasing. And if you look at countries with all different subsidies structures, you basically find the same trajectory of obesity across all of them. Another reason and this is going back to broader farm policy is that if you look at the sugar barriers that I mentioned earlier. Not only did they drive up prices for sugar, but due to some of these economic principles, they basically are driving up prices for all sweeteners. So essentially, sweeteners are actually becoming more expensive due to farm policy not less and biofuel's policy similarly is driving up corn prices. So if anything, sugar is becoming more expensive not less expensive, as a result of farm policy.