Crafting the 2008 Farm Bill

The Farm Bill determines federal policy in agriculture for the next five to ten years following its passage. RAFI worked hard to make sure the voices of farmers were heard as it related to debates concerning the 2008 Farm Bill.

Our priorities during discussions prior to the 2008 Farm bill included:

  • ensuring fair contracts for farmers by doing away with binding mandatory arbitration clauses and other practices that put farmers at a disadvantage,
  • giving organic agriculture recognition and funding that accurately reflect its growing importance,
  • creating a strong economic infrastructure for farmers transitioning to organic, natural or other nontraditional markets.

Related Publications & Resources

The Farm Bill Tree: Understanding the Logic of the 2008 Farm BillWhat ‘s included in the farm bill? Why? Where do commodity payments fit in? The answers are here, in Scott Marlow’s article.


Competition Title Sign On Letter Over 200 organizations signed onto this letter calling for a comprehensive Competition Title that would include contract reform provisions in the next farm bill.

Binding Mandatory Arbitration Fact Sheet – Find out how binding mandatory arbitration affects contract farmers.

Kay Doby’s Testimony Before the House Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry– Doby, a farmer and president of the N.C. Poultry Grower’s Association, shares her experiences as a contract farmer.

Scott Hamilton’s Testimony Before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry– Hamilton, a farmer from Alabama, shares his insights in to the contract system.


National Organic Coalition Farm Bill Recommendations – How can the farm bill support organic agriculture and business and maintain meaningful organic standards? Recommendations from NOC, of which RAFI is a founding member.


Scott Marlow’s Testimony Before the House Subcommittee on Risk Management (PDF) – Marlow offers analysis of and recommendations for crop insurance programs and the ways they serve organic, contract and value-added agricultural enterprises.

Disaster Programs Discourage Organic and Natural Food Production – Current disaster relief and crop insurance programs put organic and natural farmers at a serious disadvantage.

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