2018 Farm Bill

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue wrapped up a Midwest road trip at the Indiana State Fair Tuesday.

Perdue met in private with state lawmakers about their goals for the 2018 Farm Bill reauthorization.

That’s the $800 billion package of laws governing the nation’s agricultural and nutritional assistance programs.

Peter M. Graham / flickr.com/photos/pmgrah/106202984

To be counted in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Ag Census, first-time participants have to sign up by June 30. This year, small farms are receiving extra attention.

Farmers who earn more than $1,000 in revenue a year are required to complete the census, which takes place every five years. First-timers have to sign up by the end of this month to be counted.

sciondriver / https://www.flickr.com/photos/minidriver/14307500816/

A Michigan senator is introducing legislation that would let urban farmers access the traditional agricultural safety net.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) says urban farming tactics such as community gardens and rooftop, hoop house or vertical growing are letting more people get into the business.

She told reporters on a press call Monday that she wants to make sure these farmers are included in the 2018 Farm Bill -- an omnibus package of food and agricultural policy that was last reauthorized in 2014.

Annie Ropeik / Indiana Public Broadcasting

More than 250 Indiana Farm Bureau members met in Indianapolis Saturday Aug. 27 to finalize the the organization’s 2017 positions on agricultural policy – from land use and environmental protection issues, to education and rural development.

  The delegates from each county farm bureau spent about five hours voting on line edits to their official stances. That included adding support for Indiana’s right to farm law, and for a balance between state funds for rural development and money for more urban-centric programs like the Regional Cities Initiative.