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Programs > Agriculture & Food: Focus on the Farm Bill > Advocating Our Values

Advocating Our Values


The U.S. Farm Bill is the primary agricultural and food policy tool of the federal government. This comprehensive omnibus bill is reviewed and re-authorized every five years by the U.S. Congress. The current Farm Bill, authorized in 2008, is due to expire by October 2012.


We base our advocacy efforts on the fact that agriculture touches all our lives. We can see that the choices in agriculture have fundamental ethical and human dimensions. The central focus of a moral examination is on the life and dignity of the human person. Linked to that focus are key social principles:

  • Respect for human dignity
  • Family as foundation of society
  • Commitment to the common good
  • Solidarity with workers.
  • Integrity of creation
  • Option for the poor

Click to see a four-page summary of the U.S. Catholic Bishops' statement, For I was Hungry: Catholic Reflections on Food, Farmers and Farmworkers (2003).

This statement presents Catholic social principles that the bishops used as a framework for measuring policies related to food and agriculture.





A Primer on the Farm Bill

Action Timeline in Congress

Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

Commodity Programs

Conservation Programs

Crop Insurance Subsidies

Food Assistance and Nutrition Programs

Local Farms, Food & Jobs: New Legislation

Market Concentration & Livestock Operations

Renewable Energy from Farms

Research, Education and Extension

Rural Development

Sustainable Agriculture: Nation's New Foundation