Federal programs related to food and agriculture are funded primarily through a large, recurring legislative package commonly known as the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill, which is re-authorized at five-year intervals, contains a long list of provisions or "titles" addressing various areas of food and farm policy.
Aside from nutrition assistance programs, the largest titles in the Farm Bill are crop insurance and commodity subsidy programs, designed to protect farmers against the vagaries of weather and markets and to keep food prices stable and affordable.
In their current form, these programs work well for farmers growing commodity crops on a massive scale using industrial methods. But they create an uneven playing field for farmers who grow fruits and vegetables, or who use sustainable practices that help preserve the health and productivity of farmland for future generations.