Agricultural Policy in the US: Evolution and Economics traces the foundation of US agricultural policy from its colonial roots to the present, using economic concepts to analyze and interpret political and economic consequences. Ancient Roman food and agricultural reform, English Corn Law and other historic examples of agricultural policies are included to show that agricultural policy has a long history and has been found necessary for governance throughout history. Processes employed to develop US agricultural policies, the structure and function of government that develops and implements agricultural policy, and the specific evolution of policy from the early twentieth century to the Agricultural Act of 2014 are included. Specific policies in past farm bills are detailed in order to track their evolution and economic effects.
This textbook includes arguments for and against common tools of US agricultural policy. This debate continues today and can be seen in a gradual change over time from taxes and tariffs to risk management. Information presented does not attempt to influence the readership towards a pro or con position but rather to present information to help the readers to understand the issues related to agricultural policy in the US.
1: What is Agricultural Policy and Why Does it Exist? 2. Economic Concepts Applied to Agricultural and Food Policy 3. Who Makes Agricultural Policy and How is it Made? Appendix 3. USDA Offices 4. A Brief History of Agricultural Policy Appendix 4. Ancient Economics 5. Early 20th Century Agricultural Legislation Appendix 5. Economic Analysis of Early 20th Century Agricultural Policies 6. McNary-Haugens and the Permanent Legislation to the 1950’s Appendix 6. Two Price Support Plan, McNary-Haugens 7. 1960’s to 80’s, A Transition to Modern Farm Bills Appendix 7. Transition 8. Planting Flexibility and Direct Payments, 1985-1996 Appendix 8. 1985-1996, Budget and Acreage Reductions 9. 21st Century Agricultural Legislation 10. International Trade, is it the Future of U.S. Agricultural Policy? 11. Agricultural Act of 2014 12. Current and Future Agricultural Policy