What We’re Tracking: Food and Ag

Starting this month, Capital in Context will be highlighting the policy areas we’re watching leading up to inauguration–and how we’re expecting President-elect Biden’s administration to approach them.

After a holiday that celebrates food saw millions unable to afford enough to eat, the new administration comes to office with the basic challenge of ensuring Americans are fed

Tackling the pandemic from a food policy perspective will mean identifying ways to protect workers while allowing farms and food processing plants to operate, ensuring anti-hunger programs like SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) and school meals are accessible, and continuing farmer relief programs

President-elect Biden will inherit a pandemic that continues to disrupt food and agriculture supply chains, threaten the food security of millions of families, and exacerbate the digital divide between those who have and those who lack access to reliable, high-speed broadband. 

But a Biden Administration will likely rethink how aid is distributed after Trump’s programs were criticized for disproportionately helping big producers and getting too little food to people in need.

The Biden Administration will also have to navigate progressive proposals for sweeping climate change initiatives with more targeted, bipartisan farmer-led conservation proposals such as creating voluntary carbon markets. Also on Biden’s agenda:

  • Improving racial equity in the food and agriculture industry and at the U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Increasing funding for rural broadband deployment
  • Expanding international trade markets, and 
  • Raising scrutiny on consolidation in the agricultural industry.