Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Urgent Farm Bill Action Alert! Call your Representatives today!!

After months of quiet on the 2013 Farm Bill front, things have changed -- fast.  We’ve seen the House Agriculture Committee’s draft bill – and we’ve got a problem.

The farm bill plays a huge role in fostering economic opportunities for farmers – and for rural communities across the country.  But they left out some critical pieces that directly help farmers and would-be entrepreneurs get access to the financing they need for their businesses.  And, to make matters worse, they’re trying to gut basic protections for independent family livestock producers at the request of a few large corporate interests.

Today is our last chance to reach the House with a loud and clear message –
will you call right now?

California has a number of members on the House Agriculture Committee - and we’re counting on their support.  The committee will vote on amendments to the bill tomorrow, so they need to hear from you today!

Call your Representative to ask for support on three amendments:  Gibson #46, McIntyre #40, and Costa #69.  California’s Rep. Costa’s amendment #69 restores funding for a program that helps to offset the annual cost of certification for organic farmers.  Rep. Gibson’s amendment #46 ensures that all farmers are able to access loans, including farmers in regions with high land prices.  Rep. McIntyre’s amendment #40 restores funding for the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, a successful program that provides low-interest loans to small rural businesses. 

California House Agriculture Committee Members

(When calling Rep. Costa, thank him for his work to support organic certification cost share for farmers and urge his support for amendments by Gibson (#46) and McIntyre (#40)).

(202) 225-3076
(202) 225-4540
(202) 225-3341
(202) 225-1880
Negrete McLeod
(202) 225-6161
(202) 225-8045

The message is simple, and it will take just a few minutes -- call the number above and ask to leave the following message for your Representative’s agriculture legislative assistant:

“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 Representative ___’s agriculture staffer.  Can you take a message for me, please?  The message is:  I urge the Representative to support three key amendments in tomorrow’s markup session:  Gibson #46, McIntyre #40, and Costa #69.  These amendments enable farmers to grow local economies by helping them tackle one of their biggest challenges - access to funding to start and grow their businesses.  They will provide cost-share support for farmers seeking organic certification, provide greater access to loans for farmers across the country, and provide low-interest capital for entrepreneurs - including farmers - starting small businesses that rebuild rural communities.  I also urge the Representative to stand up for family farmers and ensure fair practices in the livestock market by opposing Conaway #5.  Thank you.”

We can’t emphasize it enough - the next 48 hours will have an impact on food and farms for years to come.  And we won’t get a better farm bill - and a better future for our nation’s food, farmers, and communities - without your help.  Make that quick call right now - and help us spread the word!

Thanks for all you do!

P.S.  Wondering what happens next? Check out our take action page!