Organizations Call for Action on Farm Bill

Author(s): 
Chrys Ostrander

Picture of farm and mountainFolks,

I spoke yesterday with former Tilth Alliance policy point person Ariana Taylor-Stanley who has since moved to farm in New York State and is working with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC). She just happened to be in the NSAC office in D.C. to field my call as part of the Nat'l Young Farmers Coalition lobby days.

The Farm bill might or might not be concluded during this lame duck session. An extension might or might not be voted on. The current Republican House version is generally bad, especially its proposed changes to the SNAP program, while the current Senate version is much better and is being supported by NSAC, but having a bad House version increases what might need to be given up in conference committee negotiations whereas the new Democrat-controlled House might be able to come up with a much better House version. Regardless, Ariana emphasized, now is the time to apply pressure on the conference committee to preserve important programs and keep sustainable ag and human equity provisions alive during the process. Also, funding going to farmers, farm groups and non-profits is held up until there is some type of resolution which is a hardship for them.

Below is a sampling of current campaigning by a selection of advocacy groups.

Chrys Ostrander
Editor, Inland FoodWise Online

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Nat'l Organic Coalition Action Alert:
https://www.nationalorganiccoalition.org/action-alerts
"Whether Congress moves quickly to complete a Farm Bill now or passes a one-year extension to buy time to debate the Farm Bill again next year, it is critical that we continue to communicate with members of Congress about organic priorities."

Nat'l Organic Coalition Background:
https://www.nationalorganiccoalition.org/blog/2018/11/13/what-does-the-mid-term-election-mean-for-organic-and-the-farm-bill
https://www.nationalorganiccoalition.org/blog/2018/9/19/what-happens-to-organic-programs-if-the-farm-bill-expires

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National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Action Alert:
https://sustainableagriculture.net/take-action/

Tell the Conference Committee you want a Farm Bill that:

-Invests in a sustainable future – by permanently funding programs that connect farmers and eaters, support beginning farmers and farmers of color, underwrite organic and sustainable agriculture research, and provide healthy food incentives for families

-Protects our shared natural resources – by protecting the nation’s largest resource conservation program on working farm and ranch lands: the Conservation Stewardship Program

-Targets support to family farmers instead of Wall Street – by maintaining payment limits and strengthening eligibility rules for farm subsidies

-Ensures food access and dignity for families in need – by protecting the SNAP program from cuts

We will deliver the letter above to the farm bill conference committee in just a few weeks, so don’t miss your opportunity to make your voice heard!

Click here to sign today!
https://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/5735/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=13449


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Union of Concerned Scientists Action Alert:
https://secure.ucsusa.org/onlineactions/Spwy86V0fUqmc_uzdehtpQ2

Congress missed a critical deadline on September 30 and let the farm bill expire. As a result, a wide range of effective food and farm programs have had to shut down their operations. But there's still time for Congress to pass a strong, science-based farm bill this year.

Urge your members of Congress to pass a farm bill that will provide reliable support to farmers, eaters, and local food economies.

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Food Research & Action Center Action Alert:
https://frac.org/action/snap-farm-bill

Take Action to Protect SNAP during Farm Bill Conference
Urge your Members of Congress to: protect and strengthen the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) during Farm Bill Conference deliberations; speak out in support of SNAP and the Senate Farm Bill SNAP provisions; and reject any cuts or efforts to weaken the program – especially the draconian provisions contained in the House Farm Bill. Tell them to make sure the Farm Bill keeps food on the table for people struggling against hunger. (Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121)

More background from FRAC:
https://www.frac.org/snap-farm-bill-action

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Very good reporting on Ag issues is available via daily email from Politico called Morning Agriculture. You can subscribe from this web page:

https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-agriculture/archive

It's free, but they also have a paid version for more in-depth reporting.

Edition: 
Action Alert November, 2018