Take Action

On Tuesday, June 28th participate in the National Day of Action to protest the huge cuts to farm bill conservation programs and prohibitions on support for local food in the House of Representative-passed spending bill.  Your Senator needs to hear from you that the federal budget shouldn't be balanced on the back of conservation programs.

It’s easy to call:  Enter your zip code in the box below to get phone numbers for your Senators.  Call both of your Senators and ask to speak to the staff member responsible for agriculture.  If the staff member is unavailable leave a message with the receptionist or a voice mail message.   Be sure to identify yourself as a constituent and a farmer or a consumer and to leave a call back number.

Message: Tell them the Senate needs to protect farm bill conservation program spending and programs essential to promoting local and regional farm and food systems.   Tell them the House agriculture spending bill is extreme and unfair.

Additional Talking Points:

1.    The Senate needs to protect farm bill conservation programs from further spending cuts.  Conservation programs were cut by $500 million in fiscal year 2011 and the House is proposing an additional cut of $1 billion for fiscal year 2012 to the Conservation Stewardship Program, the Environmental Quality Incentive Program and the Wetlands Reserve Program.  These cuts will require USDA to break contracts with farmers who have committed to conservation practices and they are disproportionate to other spending cuts.
2.    Conservation programs are consistently oversubscribed with long waiting lists of farmers wanting to implement conservation systems.  Conservation programs are effective - creating jobs while protecting our future agricultural capacity for future generations. 
3.    Conservation program spending has been slashed while funding for commodity programs remains untouched.   If cuts to mandatory funding are to be made, then everything has to be on the table.
4.    The Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative (KYF, KYF) provides crucial coordination and public outreach to build new income opportunities for farmers producing for the local and regional markets.  These markets are essential to rural economic recovery and cutting KYF, KYF is shortsighted and extreme.
5.    Development of local and regional food systems and markets is a job creator and a good investment in public health.  

Additional Actions You Can Take

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