- Protect food assistance programs for the neediest, especially in the lingering aftermath of the 2008 recession.
- Improve and expand programs that increase access to healthy foods, strengthen local and regional food systems and provide new markets for diversified, local, sustainable and organic growers and ranchers.
- Shift a large chunk of the farm subsidy dollars to conservation programs. This would help fund programs that protect soil, water and air quality, preserve wildlife habitat and conserve energy and water.
- Reform crop insurance – which has ballooned into another lavish subsidy for producers.
- Support energy provisions that encourage truly sustainable biofuels and biomass energy alternatives, not heavily subsidized, inefficient and environmentally damaging corn ethanol.
The 2012 legislation needs to shift American food and farm policy toward paying farmers to protect water and soil, providing incentives for crop diversity and creating a level playing field for all farmers.
Our current food system is broken, and it didn’t happen by accident. It’s time for a new farm bill that creates a healthy food system. Please support these actions in the next farm bill:
- Level the playing field for farmers
- Make markets fair for farmers and consumers
- Ensure food security by restoring the grain reserve
- Make healthy food accessible for all people
- Rebuild local infrastructure for regional food systems
- Make smart government food purchases
- Support new sustainable farming programs
- Promote environmental stewardship
- Require full safety reviews and labeling of GE foods
- Stop subsidizing factory farms and dangerous technologies
Head over to the petition page to sign on this.
The USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) offers a “Side by Side” Tool to compare the 2008 farm bill with the previous bill.
FRAC, the Food Research and Action Center aims to end childhood hunger by 2015. FRAC offers key strategies, including strengthening SNAP in the Farm Bill. Their Legislative Action Center offers details.
Blogger and Author Jill Richardson says we should “Forget the Farm Bill.” She notes that, ” In the 2012 election cycle, members of the House Ag committee have collectively taken in $3.7 million in contributions from agribusiness.” (She’s right that we would do well to elect folks who care more about sustainable agriculture. But “Forgetting” the farm bill? I’m not ready to do that. I want to ENGAGE in the Farm Bill!)
Tim Philpott, in a piece in Mother Jones, notes we’ll probably have the worst farm bill ever
The American Jewish World Service (AJWS) Offers a petition for a Just Farm Bill.
The American Farmland Trust offers a whole website devoted to the farm bill: http://www.farmbillfacts.org/
The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy has a new series: What’s at Stake in the 2012 Farm Bill? The series includes brief discussions of local foods, crop insurance, and disadvantaged farmers. Healthy Food Action, a project of IATP, asks us to take action: to ask our Senators and Representative to co-sponsor the Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act. The Healthy Farms Healthy People Coalition maintains a blog including a Farm Bill 2012 category.
The California Food and Justice Coalition provides support for the GOAT (Getting Our Act Together) and Healthy Farms, Healthy People coalitions, and more recently, a Kellogg Foundation funded Equity First policy cluster.
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