The Farm Bill and the Environment: Missed Opportunities and Where to Next
The Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy invites you to join our third annual policy workshop webinar series, Frontiers in Food and Agriculture. In response to the growing interest in food and agriculture policy, both globally and locally, the series, co-sponsored by the Yale Sustainable Food Project and the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School, is investigating four broad themes. Part I explored linkages between theory and practice in food justice; Part II looked at a legal framework for the new food movement; Part III examined GMOs and intellectual property, and Part IV, considers the farm bill and the future of farming.
Craig Cox, senior vice president of the Environmental Working Group, launches Part IV of the series Wednesday, March 26, with a presentation titled “The Farm Bill and the Environment: Missed Opportunities and Where to Next.”
Agricultural land occupies over 50 percent of the US landscape, and it’s unsurprising that the way crops are grown and livestock raised have profound effects on the environment. Yet agriculture is largely exempted, either by statute or rule, from provision of the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts. As a result, the farm bill has emerged as the primary federal law that attempts to address farming’s effects on soil, water and wildlife. The provisions of the farm bill, reauthorized every five years, authorize the most important federal programs designed to help landowners farm in more environmentally friendly ways. As important, the way taxpayers subsidize farming affects whether the choices made by landowners are good or bad for the environment.
Mr. Cox will review the environmental implications of the new 2014 Farm Bill and explore the limitations of the farm bill as a tool to harmonize agriculture and the environment. His presentation will be followed by a Q+A with the audience.
Registration is available at https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/438700079.
Craig Cox is the senior vice president of the Environmental Working Group. Craig has devoted his working life to conservation since joining the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in 1977 as a field biologist. In 1989 Craig moved to Washington D.C to accept a position as Senior Staff Officer with the Board on Agriculture of the National Academy of Sciences, where he completed three major studies, including Soil and Water Quality: An Agenda for Agriculture. In 1994, he joined the staff of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry to lead the development of the conservation title of the farm bill that was passed in March 1996. Craig then joined the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service as a Special Assistant to the Chief and served briefly as Acting Deputy Under-Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment in the Department of Agriculture before moving to Iowa in 1998 to become Executive Director of the Soil and Water Conservation Society. In August 2008 he joined the Environmental Working Group (EWG). He leads the organization’s research and advocacy work in agriculture, renewable energy, and climate change and directs EWG’s Midwest office in Ames, Iowa. He has degrees in Wildlife Ecology and Agricultural Economics from the University of Minnesota and is an avid fly fisherman, hunter and hiker.
About the Series: Co-sponsored by the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, the Yale Sustainable Food Project and the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School, our third annual webinar series highlights emerging issues in food and agriculture policy. The series is designed for academic and policy communities as well as the general public and is available to everyone online. The webinar format enables interested parties to access and participate in these presentations from anywhere in the world. The series is free and open to the public; presentation recordings are available online approximately one week after they air live.
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