Work on the farm bill is breaking new ground. Not only will it provide $19 million for Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops to help produce shippers get past trade barriers, but $200 million to purchase vegetables and fruits for schools and food banks.
Traditionally, government food-purchase programs have not included fresh produce, despite the clear nutritional benefits of a diet containing them.
Progress made on these two items as well as for help in moving from $90 to $200 million over the next four years for the Market Access Program was due to the hard work of a broad coalition.
This coalition put in over two years to raise awareness in Congress about the critical needs of specialty crop producers. Producers from more than 100 industry organizations contributed testimony and resources to seek common objectives