Speak out for a better 2012 Food & Farm Bill!
The 2012 Food & Farm Bill: what's going on this week?
The House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture is at work on its version of the 2012 Food & Farm Bill right now. (The Senate passed its version just a few weeks back) Now is a crucial time for Congress to hear from you on what needs to be in the farm bill! The Committee on Agriculture has set up a comment box for constituents to submit their feedback - and it's open to everyone!
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- · America needs a farm bill that creates jobs and spurs economic growth - support programs like the Value Added Producer Grants Program by guaranteeing $30 million of mandatory funding per year. VAPG provides seed money to help farmers innovate in agriculture and create jobs while securing a sustainable path to market-based farm profitability.
- · America needs a farm bill that makes healthy food widely available to all Americans - including schoolchildren! We must provide flexibility for states to use existing food procurement programs to purchase fresh, healthy food from local farmers and ranchers.
- · America needs a farm bill that protects our natural resources - protect the Conservation Stewardship Program from unfair funding cuts, and improve it by ranking applications solely on their conservation benefits. Farmers count on CSP and other conservation programs to conserve soil for future generations, keep water and air clean, and create habitat for wildlife – all while farming profitably.
- · America needs a farm bill that invests in the next generation of farmers and ranchers - guarantee $25 million per year in mandatory funding for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. We need a national strategy and commitment to support beginning farmer and ranchers entering agriculture. With an aging farm population, now is the time to invest in the future of American agriculture by nurturing new agriculture start-ups.
- · America needs a farm bill that drives innovation for tomorrow’s farmers and food entrepreneurs - fund the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative at $30 million per year in mandatory funding. Investment in agricultural research is vital to continued productivity and innovation in growing and diverse sectors of American agriculture, such as organic agriculture.