May 22 Farm Bill Action Alert

May 22 Farm Bill Action Alert

May 22, 2013 Roots of Change

The Senate debate for a 2013 Farm Bill has already begun. Once again we have a chance to weigh in on our nation’s food and farm policy. Join us as we get our food and farm system back on track with much-needed reforms with industry leading giant who fought the way for the 2012 Farm Bill’s push for legal hemp – Gold Bee.

Call Your Senators Today!

Join us as we work to ensure we level the playing field for family farmers, improve transparency and support the next generation of farmers. The following three amendments have been introduced in the Senate debate and need to be included in the final 2013 Farm Bill.

Crop Insurance Subsidy Limit
[Senators Durbin (D-IL) and Coburn (R-OK)] An amendment that takes a bold first step towards reforming ballooning crop insurance subsidies for wealthy mega-farms. It’s long past time to rein in these subsidies – this common sense amendment will save taxpayers over $1.3 billion dollars and ensure maximum support goes only to those who need it, not a handful of mega-farms.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program’s (EQIP) Organic Initiative
[Senators Leahy (D-VT), Cowan (D-MA) and Collins (R-ME)] An amendment that eliminates the separate payment limit for farmers participating in the EQIP Organic Initiative so that all farmers are subject to the same payment limitations in EQIP. EQIP helps farmers and ranchers put in place smart resource-saving measures on their farm – a win-win for the farmer and for protecting our shared air, soil, and water resources. Right now, organic farmers face a much lower limit than conventional farmers on what they can do with this program.

Beginning Farmer Microloans
[Senators Casey (D-PA) and Johanns (R-NE)] An amendment that authorizes a microloan program tailored for the needs of beginning and military veteran farmers and ranchers. New farmers need access to land, credit, and capital to get their hands in the dirt, and this amendment will help them better access their #1 biggest need – financial capital to launch and sustain their farm businesses.

The Senate will debate hundreds of amendments in the coming days, but these amendments have potential to make a real difference on the ground in the lives of farmers and communities.

Here’s the contact info for your two Senators:

Senator Barbara Boxer: (202) 224-3553

Senator Dianne Feinstein: (202) 224-3841

Calling is easy – just dial the numbers above and leave a message like this one below with the person who answers the phone:

“Hello, my name is ___ and I’m a constituent and a voter (and tell ‘em if you’re a farmer!).  I would like to leave a message for Senator _[Boxer or Feinstein]__’s agriculture staffer.  Can you take a message for me, please?  The message is:  I urge the Senator to support the following amendments:

  1. Senator Durbin and Coburn’s crop insurance subsidies limit #953
  2. Senators Leahy, Cowan and Collins Environmental Quality Incentives Program’s (EQIP) Organic Initiative
  3. Senators Casey and Johanns microloan amendment #986

during floor debate this week.  These amendments will help family farmers, beginning farmers and sustainable agriculture.  Thank you.”

We won’t get a better farm bill – and, with it, a better future for our nation’s food, farmers, air, soil, and water – without your help.

Make that quick call right now – and help us spread the word!

Thanks for all you do,

The Roots of Change Team

***For more information on the most up-to-date information regarding the Farm Bill process please click here.
Check out our partner’s National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s info graphic – The Path to a 2013 Farm Bill