The 2012 U.S. Farm Bill was marked up on April 26 by the Senate Agriculture Committee
The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry issued their proposed draft of the 2012 Farm Bill on Friday, April 20. The Committee markup the bill with amendments and modifications on April 26.
Call the senators at the Capitol at (202)224-3121
Senate Ag Committee Members.
Check here for a complete congressional listing including phone numbers.
While there are some good provisions supporting healthy food, the Senate’s draft still disadvantages small and midsize family farmers who produce fruits and vegetables. And for the first time, it makes significant cuts to food stamp (SNAP) benefits for low income people which is now the only federal poverty program that many families rely on.
The Senate’s draft, if passed as is would likely cause large farms to grow fewer commodity crops (primarily corn and soybeans) by changing the crop insurance program. But it doesn't have a mechanism to manage the overproduction of these crops. And the bill doesn't provide enough support to farmers who grow healthy food for local and regional food systems.
Please call Agriculture Committee members today about important provisions that need to change Write or call your Senators today!
Here are some key talking points. Select those near and dear to your heart. When you call ask for the aide who is responsible for the farm bill. If you don't reach that person, leave them a message indicating your concerns.
--No capping of the SNAP program (food stamps) Cuts to SNAP will make it harder for millions of families to buy healthy food. Good food now is cheaper than medical costs down the road.
--Better and more affordable crop insurance for organic farmers to reduce their financial risk. This crop insurance can help reduce the use of harmful chemicals that threaten our health and pollute the environment.
--Restore funding for outreach to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. This provision is essential because of the historic discrimination against minority farmers by the USDA. This funding provides assistance to acquire, own, operate, and retain farms and ranches. This program also supports production of healthy food. Farmers of color grow 18-20% of the vegetables, melons, fruits and tree nuts.
Allow schools and other institutions to use federal program dollars to purchase food from local agricultural producers.
It's your farm (and food) Bill. Speak up!