As of this month, our nation’s food and farm policy in the form of the 2008 Farm Bill has officially expired, with no workable replacement moving forward in Congress. This has left critical programs high and dry with no funding. And ironically, some programs with funds available will not be able to use them because they no longer have authority use their funds. In addition, Congress dodged the chance to make real reforms and an investment in an equitable, sustainable future for food and farms in America.
With no new farm bill or extension, innovative programs that address rural and urban job creation, training opportunities for beginning farmers, natural resource conservation, and access to healthy food are in big trouble. Included in this program list are the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, Outreach and Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers, Farmers Market Promotion Program, Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, and Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
Can Congress still finish a farm bill this year? YES!
There is a short window of time for Congress to finish the bill when they return to DC after Election Day. So when Congress returns to the Hill after the election, we’ll need YOU and other farmers and advocates across the country to tell them loud and clear: we need an equitable, sustainable 2012 Farm Bill!
On October 24th, Food Day, Southern SAWG is launching a major grassroots effort in collaboration with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and allies across the nation to make our voices heard. The first action is gathering signatures on a petition. Will you help us demand action on the Farm Bill?
It’s going to take all of us.
This is our last chance to get a farm bill done this year, and to get it done right. Help us send a clear message to Congress by reaching 50,000 signatures by Election Day!
P.S. Stay tuned for ways you can have impact after the petition is delivered – and mark your calendar for November 15 for a National Day of Action!