[MUSIC] Hello, this is Bob Lawrence again. The next lecture will be given by Roni Neff, who directs the CLF's Food System Sustainability and Public Health program, and is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences with a joint appointment in Health Policy and Management. Through her research, speaking engagements, and leadership work through the American Public Health Association, Roni has played a significant role in advancing public health voice and food in agriculture research and policy, including the Farm Bill. Roni's also the lead director on the recently published CLF textbook on Food Systems and Public Health, and is involved in work that looks at food system contributions to climate change, the food price crisis, and food security in Baltimore. Her academic interests include food waste, food and agricultural policy, and food system workers. Earlier this year, Roni received the Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award from the Johns Hopkins SOURCE program. She received her PhD from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her master's degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. >> Greetings. My name is Roni Neff, and I'm really pleased to have the opportunity to talk to you today about the Farm Bill and public health. So there's going to be three sections to my talk. I'm going to start out with an overview of policies affecting food and agriculture and some history. So the first, section A is background. Section B goes into what's in the Farm Bill, and then section C is about Farm Bill politics, including public health advocacy. But before I get into that, I want to make an important point, which is that, why the Farm Bill? There's all these different policies that affect food, all these different policies that affect agriculture. So the Farm Bill can be seen, in some ways, as a case study, or as an example of one policy. The Farm Bill is also the largest policy, with the most diverse and broad ranging impact on food and agriculture that we have in this country. But it's really important. I'm going to take a minute before I get into the Farm Bill to just walk you through some background on some of the other really important policies that affect food and agriculture in this country. And most of these are more focused on particular aspects of food or agriculture, rather than the Farm Bill which has its focus spread among so many different areas. So let's stop for a moment and think about all of the issues or concerns within the food system or the agriculture system. Think about, you know, all the different things that have been covered in this class over the course of this quarter. What do you wish was different? How might you change some of those things? And even stepping back from the arena of policy, there's lots of ways to change them. Policy is one. We could change them by changing markets, we could do a behavior change intervention, we could do a voluntary strategy. And policy is a tool to basically have a non-voluntary strategy, and sometimes policies are regulations that require that certain things happen. Sometimes policies provide money for certain things that enable them to happen. Sometimes policies affect taxation or give people an incentive or a disincentive to do a certain thing. Within the policy, we note, would also be legal strategies, and both lawsuits and trying to use the law to shape activities. So let me turn to just a brief overview of some of the more important policies that do affect food and agriculture in addition to the Farm Bill. And one, at the top of the list there is trade policy. And there's the Transpacific Partnership that's being discussed right now, and it could have very significant impacts. It affects, for example labor standards for agricultural workers, the ability of countries to keep out imports that are under-priced, and that therefore could get, undercut local farmers. Things like that. Labor standards are also, play a lot of role in affecting agriculture because they affect the workers. Food safety policy is a really important one. And the Food Safety Modernization Act that came through several years ago, has had a very important role in shaping the types of practices that occur in agriculture, and the type of oversight that occurs. The Clean Water and Clean Air Act are regulations within the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, that tell companies or farms what they can and cannot do. Occupational safety and health regulations are really important, but in many cases, they actually do not cover farm workers and agricultural workers. Particularly small facilities are often not covered, so this is a real gap. And then, a lot of policy these days is shifting to the state and local levels. Why? Because of all of the mess and gridlock that's going on at the federal level. So there's policies that are going on that try to basically stop advocates from interfering with agriculture. For example, ag-gag laws, as they're sometimes referred to, will say that you can't go in and film within a CAFO. So an animal welfare advocate couldn't go in and take pictures, even sometimes outside. Zoning policies can affect where a food production facility could be located. And nuisance laws are sometimes used to say, if that odor is effecting a community, then that's a problem. And there's economic development policies, infrastructure investments and so on. So there's lots of ways that policies affect change at the, both the federal level and the state and local level in both positive and negative ways. And of course, positive and negative is going to depend on who you are and what your viewpoint is. And similarly, there's a lot going on that affects food that goes well beyond the Farm Bill. And I'll just mention a few things. So the Farm Bill covers a lot of important food assistance, as I'll discuss, but there's, for example, within the Child Nutrition Act, which gets reauthorized about every five years. There's a number of policies related to school lunches and women, infants, and children program, WIC, that affect food security. There are regulations on food labeling and marketing, and this is a key area, and probably a key area of need for further work. Dietary guidelines are created every five years in the United States. And, at the time of this recording, they're in the process of being developed. And there's a really important change going on, which is that this is the first time that they're really, seriously considering adding sustainability, environmental sustainability into the guidelines. So that we're not just saying you should eat X for nutritional reasons, but we want to assure the population's ability to be nourished for the short term and long term. There's tax policies, trade policies, law suits. All those things affect food, the federal level. Once again, state and local level is where a lot of the energy has shifted. So in many states and especially localities, they've developed food policy councils, which you'll hear more about in this course, that bring together stakeholders from across a food system to work to together to develop policies and work towards change. There could be limits on specific additives in a particular state policy, and so on. That's just some broad background on policy before I turn more specifically to the farm bill as a case study and as one of the most important policies affecting food and agriculture. So, I first got involved in the Farm Bill in the lead up to the 2008 Farm Bill. And I was relatively new, I knew that the Farm Bill was important and some advocates who were active on the farm bill came to me and said, you know, we're thinking of bringing together public health groups to develop a public health group to focus on public health issues in the farm bill. Would you like to get involved? And I said yes, definitely. And very soon it turned out that I was sort of moderating the calls for that group and in a leadership role. I got to observe the process of the 2008 Farm Bill. And as part of that, one of the things that we realized is that we really needed to get organized earlier. So we started organizing for the next Farm Bill, which ended up passing in 2014, very shortly after that 2008 Farm Bill was passed. So I was involved in that process as well. And I worked on that with Becca Klein, who was the policy manager at the Center for Livable Future, and Bob Martin, who's the current Policy Director. And I did direct policy within the center for a number of years before I took on my current program. So let me give you an overview of the Farm Bill. It is a broad omnibus bill, and omnibus means basically it's got everything but the kitchen sink in there. It's all different kinds of unrelated pieces kind of glommed together into one bill. And it's reauthorized every four to six years. And then each year the funds for it have to be appropriated by Congress. So this means that even if the farm bill says there should be money for x, unless Congress puts out that money each year, the money doesn't go to x in most cases. So when most people think about the farm bill in the United States, a lot of people might picture something like this. And some might picture something a little more like this. There's a lot fewer people who might picture something like this, but I think that this kind of perception of the Farm Bill and of the potential of the Farm Bill to bring us something that looks like this is really growing. And then there's those of us who think of the Farm Bill as something that looks like this. So the Farm Bill is a public health bill, and it has a lot in it for public health. And, as this slide shows, it's incredibly complex. Having these kind of very detailed models is really important, and it's a really useful strategy for systems approaches. But what I'm going to do is not focus on this slide, and I'm going to go to a much simpler version of it, which is the Farm Bill is a public health bill. And I'm going to give you five points. And over the course of this lecture I'm just going to walk through those five points and explain what's in the Farm Bill for public health in each of these five areas. Food security, what we eat, environmental sustainability and environmental health. And because it's environmental sustainability that also means long term food security. Equity, rural income and quality of life, and rural public health as well. And, to put this out there, to say the Farm Bill is a public health bill, is a relatively new framing. So when I said that they came to me to start this kind of coalition in 2008, before this there had been no public health engagement in the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill historically, as I'll describe, was an agriculture bill. And then it became an agriculture bill and a food security bill, and an environmental bill. But to really recognize the enormous impact that the farm bill can have on public health is new. And I think that public health could have a really important impact on shaping it and shaping what, what does our country need to do in relationship to food and agriculture, and how can a tool like the Farm Bill help that? And a public health framework on the Farm Bill really helps us see that.