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AGree is pleased to announce the availability of the first backgrounders in a series of publications intended to lay the groundwork for common understanding of the complex issues and policies related to the food and agriculture system. We believe a common understanding of the historical and current context of our food and agriculture system is an essential element in effective discussions between diverse stakeholders to develop successful, integrated policy solutions.

In this first installment, Stephanie Mercier, former chief economist for the Senate Agriculture Committee, authored a report that provides a comprehensive review of the origins and evolution of U.S. farm policy and programs. Accompanying the report are two webcasts of PowerPoint presentations by Mercier: one that summarizes the farm program report and a second that reviews the federal food and agriculture budget over the past five years. These reports have been commissioned by AGree to provide objective information and do not reflect any assessment of policies by AGree.

The report and presentations support AGree’s goal to inform discussion and stimulate debate about future directions for policy and can be found at

Review of U.S. Farm Programs: A comprehensive overview of federal farm programs (farm support, disaster assistance, insurance, specialty crop and conservation programs), including historical background and information about the distribution of benefits. 57 pp. October 2011.

Download the report and view a PowerPoint slide presentation by the author here.

Federal Agricultural Spending – Goals, Programs, and Beneficiaries: An analysis offederal spending on food and agriculture programs over the past five years through the lens of AGree’s core goals, including information about the distribution of benefits, and a summary of recent budget proposals for food and agriculture programs. October 2011. View a webinar or download the presentation here.

Posted November 21st, 2011