Secret Food & Farm Bill down to the wire
Update on the crazy, secret Food and Farm Bill: The House and Senate Agriculture committees failed (at least by the time of preparing this blog post) to get their Food and Farm Bill proposals to the congressional Super Committee so now our ONLY opportunity to influence this unprecedented secret process is to target the Super Committee members themselves.
On November 14, we’re joined our fellow California members of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) in sending a letter to Congressman Xavier Becerra of Los Angeles to make sure our Food and Farm Bill priorities get into the bill the Super Committee will now draft.
Our key priorities
Our letter to congressman Becerra identifies particular Food and Farm bill programs we're supporting:
- Reduce budget cuts to conservation and nutrition programs
- Support the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act and the Local Farm, Food, and Jobs Act, which are not included in the bill that was expectedly presented to the Super Committee
- Maintain or increase funding for specific programs that have been key in supporting a more diverse susrtainable agricultural systems including organic production and marketing; research and extension for conservation practices; and support for socially disadvantages farmers and ranchers.
- Require all farms receiving federal commodity or crop insurance subsidies to comply with requirements for soil and wetland protection.
Here's hoping for a Food and Farm Bill that truly serves the most fundamental need of our nation — to produce the food we all need and to do so in a way that protects and nourishes our bodies, our rural and urban communities, and the land, air and water upon which our existence depends.