The offices of a large group of bipartisan Representatives recently hosted a discussion on programs in the Farm Bill that support farmer veterans and reduce veterans’ food insecurity. The Veterans in the Farm Bill Congressional Briefing included a panel of federal agency representatives working on these issues and a panel that highlighted opportunities to expand this work in the Farm Bill.
The briefing was hosted by the offices of Representative Jodey Arrington (R-TX), Mike Bost (R-IL), Rick Crawford (R-AR), Jeff Denham (R-CA), Al Lawson (D-FL), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Glenn Thompson (R-PA), and Tim Walz (D-MN).
“The Farm Bill is a critical piece of legislation not only for the nation’s farmers, but also the nation’s veterans,” the bipartisan group said in a joint statement. “Within this sweeping bill are programs to address the tragically high rate of food insecurity among veterans, help service members start businesses and careers in agriculture, and support rural communities where a quarter of the nation’s veterans live. As work to reauthorize the Farm Bill picks up this year, we want to highlight these initiatives and begin a discussion on how they can be strengthened.”
A 2015 report found that 27 percent of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars suffer from food insecurity—more than double the national rate of 12 percent.