The Agriculture Committees are among the oldest in Congress, established in 1820 in the House of Representatives and in 1825 in the U.S. Senate. The Department of Agriculture was established by Congress in 1862.
Today, the marquee legislative responsibility of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees is the development and passage of a comprehensive package of commodity, conservation, trade, nutrition, credit, rural development, research, forestry, energy, horticulture, crop insurance, and miscellaneous provisions, commonly known as the Farm Bill.
As the next Farm Bill is negotiated, provided below is a relatively brief title-by-title history and guide to this policy, which affects every single American and those in need from around the world in the most fundamental of ways.
Americans enjoy the safest, most abundant, most affordable food supply in the world. In fact, we in the U.S. pay less of our disposable income on food than anyone else in the world. The U.S. also has among the lowest tariff levels and support for farmers in the world. In short, U.S. farm and ranch families feed, clothe, and fuel the nation in a manner that is unrivaled in history. As a recent example of their success, it is because of these hard-working farm and ranch families that the U.S. was able to avoid a major disruption in the food supply during the pandemic.