The package of agriculture and food policy that's called the farm bill is reauthorized by Congress every five years. This year, however, things are a bit different for this historically lengthy and debate-rich process. The federal budget deficit that's been hanging around for months has pushed the farm bill into overdrive, and the legislation is now on the fast track straight to the Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, otherwise known as the super committee.
Once the super committee approves the House and Senate Agriculture committee's recommendations, that were leaked by the Environmental Working Group, it goes to Congress for a quick and dirty up or down vote before the end of December. This week on Field Notes: the emerging details of the new farm bill language that up until this week have been all speculation, and a look back at the stories we've produced on this food and field issue that will change farm policy in the years to come.