For a Fairer Farm Bill

06-03-13 FarmBillIn case you haven’t heard, things are heating up on Capitol Hill around the Farm Bill, the federal policy that shapes food, farm, and nutrition policy.

Now’s our time to flex our collective muscle and speak up for a fair farm bill.

Will you join us? In just a few minutes, you can join the thousands across the country who are joining together. See the note below to walk you through the simple steps to get involved.

Then, after you’ve made your calls, please click here and let us know how it went for you. It’s important for us to be able to track our collective impact.

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Script from Live Real Now

Gather your friends & make 2 phone calls today – ask your Senators to support a fairer Farm Bill in 2 easy steps.

1. Dial  (202) 224-3121 (the Capitol Switchboard) and ask to be connected to your Senator’s office. (if you don’t know your Senator’s name, click here).

2. Once you’re connected, use this script to introduce yourself and share your message.

Hi!  My name’s ______ and I’m a (farmer, voter, youth, constituent) living in your state.  The Farm Bill goes to vote next week – can you please pass an important message on to the Senator’s agricultural staffer?  Thanks.  I want to make sure that we get a fair Farm Bill that actually works for everyone who eats, and for the people who grow our food.  There are 9 amendments that I want the Senator to support, and 5 that I need (him/her) to oppose:

There are five dangerous amendments that would only hurt families most in need.  $4.1 billion has already been cut from nutrition assistance programs, and we can’t afford to lose any more.

I need the Senator to oppose Roberts 949 & 950 that reduce benefits and training for nutrition assistance, Thune 991 that cuts nutrition education programs, and Sessions 947 that would require proof of citizenship or immigration status to get help with food – essentially discriminating against low-income rural residents and immigrants.

Vitter’s Amendment 1056, barring ex-offenders from receiving food stamps, was accepted into the Farm Bill.  I cannot support a Senator who approves a Farm Bill that includes a lifetime ban on nutrition assistance programs for anyone.  I need the Senator to work encourage a Manager’s Amendment that repeals this amendment, or at the very least, limits the duration of the ban to a set and reasonable number of years and provides a process to get a waiver for demonstrating rehabilitation.

 

There are also some really great amendments being proposed!  Here’s the list of nine that I support:

  1. Senator Brown’s amendment 1118 that invests in local community economic development and Community Food Projects.
  2. Senator Udall’s amendment for Socially Disadvantaged & Veteran Producer Training that will restore funding for African-American, American-Indian, Asian-American, Latino, and Veteran farmers and ranchers.
  3. Amendment 926 that deals with our broken, wasteful crop insurance policies.  It saves taxpayers $4 billion.
  4. Leahy-Cowen-Collins Environmental Quality Incentives Program amendment that removes the unfair restriction on organic farmers who are trying to protect our air, soil, and water resources
  5. Grassley’s Amendment 969 will help level the playing field between independent livestock producers and the large corporate packers and processors by setting up a USDA office to ensure fair competition
  6. Rockefeller’s amendment that protects farmers who actually speak up about abusive practices.
  7. Tester’s Seeds & Breeds amendment that will provide public research dollars to develop and improve a diversity of publicly owned seeds for farmers
  8. I also support Tester’s amendment requiring an annual report on consolidation in the food and agriculture industries.
  9. Boxer’s GE labeling amendment requires GE labeling, and I join 93% of Americans who demand the right to know whether there are genetically modified ingredients in my food.