Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Immediate Action Needed to Save Beginning Farmer Programs in the Farm Bill!

Over $6 billion cut from conservation.
A 50% cut to core beginning and socially disadvantaged farmer programs.
Ballooning subsidy programs for the wealthiest farmers – with no real limits.
What were they thinking? The House Agriculture Committee released its draft 2012 Farm Bill late last week, and it has problems (http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/house-farm-bill/) One major issue? The bill targets highly successful beginning and socially disadvantaged farmer programs for 50% funding cuts – why should our nation’s next generation of farmers bear this burden while we continue to subsidize industrial mega-farms?  But it’s not too late to change this – the committee will start voting on amendments for the farm bill TOMORROW. 

Your Representative sits on the Agriculture Committee – and needs to hear from YOU that we need a better farm bill!

Our nation’s farmers are aging, and we can’t afford to wait any longer to help the next generation of farmers and ranchers get off to a strong start.  Programs that invest in the future of American agriculture and provide assistance to beginning and historically underserved farmers and ranchers deserve full support in the Committee’s bill.

Please call or email your Representative TODAY and ask him or her to vote for these amendments:
  • Rep. Fortenberry and Rep. Walz’s amendment to improve and strengthen the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program and other critical beginning farmer efforts across the country.
  • Rep. Gibson and Rep. Boswell’s amendment to establish a Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison at USDA.
  • Rep. Fudge and Rep. Fortenberry’s amendment allow USDA to make small business loans tailored to meet the needs of small, young, beginning, and military veteran farmers and ranchers.

Every single call or email you make has an impact on how your Representative will vote tomorrow!

It takes just a moment – click here to speak out for beginning farmers today! http://bit.ly/house_fb_action

Thank you for all that you do,

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Grassroots Team