The Senate Is About to Vote on Its Farm Bill. What the Hell Is the Farm Bill, Anyway?

And why should I care?

Every five years or so, Congress takes up a massive piece of legislation known as the farm bill, which covers everything from supporting farmers to ensuring that those short of food don’t go hungry. The cost of the bill is nearly $100 billion a year. Right now, Congress is in the middle of the farm-bill cycle again.

While the Senate is close to a vote on a bipartisan measure, the far more partisan House version of the bill put forward by Republican leaders was voted down last month. The next step is anyone’s guess.

But what, exactly, is the farm bill? How does it work? And why should anyone care? The video above, produced by the Food & Environment Reporting Network, unpacks this complex law, the most important piece of legislation that shapes America’s food, farm, and anti-hunger programs.

Produced with FERN, non-profit reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.