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It’s Time for a Better Farm Bill

It’s Time for a Better Farm Bill

April 20, 2012 Roots of Change

 

 

        


Action Alert

 

The opportunity to transform federal food and farm policy only comes once every five years. We’ll need every voice to achieve what we want:

farm policy that helps family farmers produce healthy food, builds vibrant communities, and sustains the environment.

Our 2012 Farm Bill campaign calls for policy reforms to:
–       Ensure a sustainable future for California agriculture
–       Create jobs and spur economic opportunities in our rural and urban communities
–       Level the playing field for producers and support innovation
–       Protect our natural resources and support healthy communities

Congress is hard at work crafting the Farm Bill right now, much will be decided in the coming days and later this spring. The 11 California organizations active in the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition are working together to make sure the next farm bill serves California’s sustainable and organic agriculture community. We’ve made great progress already. Both our Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act; and our Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act are gaining momentum in Congress.


Join us!  We need you to speak up and help us fight for family farmers and ensure the future of sustainable and organic agriculture.  Call your Congressional representatives today and ask them to defend conservation programs, beginning farmers, and organic programs.. Your call or letter is essential!Please make three contacts: one to your Representative, one to Senator Barbara Boxer and one to Senator Dianne Feinstein.

 

We ask you to share this alert with your friends, family and customers. Ask them to join our campaign for a farm bill that supports health, prosperity, and equity for family farmers and for our nation!

 

NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT!PLEASE CALL OR FAX TODAY

 

It is easy to call or write.  Please call the Capitol switchboard (202) 224-3121 and ask for your Senator’s or Representative’s office by name*.  Once they connect you to the office ask for the legislative aide who covers agriculture.  If the agriculture aide is unavailable, leave a message with your name, phone number, town or city, and the message below. If you prefer to fax, ask the office for the fax number and send a letter including your mailing address.

 

The message to your Senators is simple: 

I am a constituent and I am calling to ask Senator Feinstein/Boxer to: support  funding for conservation, beginning farmer, and organic agriculture programs that help California farmers.

In addition call your House Representative and add to that message:

We urge Congress member _______ to Cosponsor the Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act, the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act.

 

It is important that we track how many people contact their members of Congress. Please

send an e-mail to:  [email protected] to let us know who you contacted.

Also, sign-on to the citizen’s petition forthe National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's 2012 Farm Bill policy platformat http://bit.ly/2012FarmBillSignOn

 

Want More Information?

NSAC’s Platform, Farming for the Future; the Local Food, Farms and Jobs Act; and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act can be found at: http://sustainableagriculture.net/our-work/fbcampaign/

 

Highlights of the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act

4  Funding the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program at an annual amount $7 million and raising the maximum per participant from $750 to $1,000.

4  Funding the Local Marketing Promotion Program — the former Farmers Market Promotion Program plus funding for larger scale, non-direct local marketing.

4  Improving SNAP participant access to farmers markets, CSAs, and other direct marketing outlets by expanding use of electronic benefit transfer among vendors.

4  Allowing schools to use a portion of federal $’s to purchase local foods.

 

Highlights of the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2011

4  Increases funding for operating and ownership loans to better reflect the demand.

4  Reduces the experience requirement for direct farm ownership loans to 2 years.

4  Adds USDA authority to reflect geographic variation in land price in setting loan limits.

4  Funds the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Accounts Program.

4  Retains the priority and set-aside funding projects benefiting beginning farmers.

 

This Action Alert was prepared by the California Caucus of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. If you have any questions call Steve Schwartz at 707 217-5603.

 

*Find your Congressional Rep.’s name at: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/