A significant debate is ahead to write a new farm bill. Dietitians and nutritionists have a second chance to gain support for their priorities, but from a compromised position thanks to last year’s efforts,when Congress targeted the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for savings, scaled back previous commitments to food and agriculture research, and eventually settled on a compromise that took funds away from nutrition counseling. Now, the sequester and a new budget baseline bring new pressure for all food and agriculture programs. Changing course from this deteriorating path will not be easy.
M. Stephanie Patrick, CAE, is an analyst and consultant who has worked at senior levels in government and the private sector on issues ranging from agriculture, food, nutrition and health, trade, transportation, investment, research and risk management. She has been involved in the deliberation and implementation of eight farm bills. She holds the accreditation of the American Society of Association Executives and lives in Arlington, Virginia.
The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Correspondence: M. Stephanie Patrick, CAE, 1510 N Ivanhoe St, Arlington, VA 22205 (firstname.lastname@example.org).