Welcome to the March 2021 edition of The Buzz. The path of the next four years of food and agriculture policy is starting to take shape as the new presidential administration settles in, and important agency positions are filled and cabinet nominees, including the new, and former, United States Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack have been confirmed (more on that below).
Congress agreed to another COVID-19 relief bill, which included direct relief to farmers who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color support that would allow expansion of online Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funding for the farm-to-food box-program, increasing food system infrastructure, and more. National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has a nice summary.
With that legislation in the rearview, the attention of Congress will turn towards climate, racial equity, and the distribution of COVID-19 relief, as we move closer to the 2023 Farm Bill, which is just around the corner. Stay tuned!