Time for Action! FY18 Ag Appropriations
This is our FINAL opportunity to weigh in on agriculture appropriations to make the pitch for National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's (NSAC) FY18 priorities.
We finally have a budget deal (Read NSAC's blog post; What the Budget Deal Means for American Agriculture) to raise the spending caps, and have word from appropriators that they're entering into the final stretch of setting funding levels for FY18, and now is when they want to be hearing from us on what the sustainable agriculture community wants.
In an effort to ensure sustainable agriculture priorities get an increase as a result of the new funding available, our farming community needs to reach out to ag appropriators and make the specific requests. NSAC has prepared materials to help us do this! They've updated their FY18 "conference letter" to reflect the priorities where they're asking for additional funding above the level included in either House or Senate bill.
Below is a sample letter and a pdf of NSAC's letter requesting additional investments for several agriculture programs. Reach out to your ag appropriators (or full appropriations leadership, depending on your state), with this letter and final requests. If you need help with contact information for staffers, please be in touch with Paul Wolfe (for Senate) or Alyssa Charney (for House).
Please do get the FY18 revised letter in to offices as soon as possible -- today or Monday if you can.
Dear [staffer name],
We are writing to share with you our priorities for the agriculture appropriations package for FY18. Now that final budget cap agreement has been reached we wanted to make sure you were aware of the critical need to avoid cuts to farm bill conservation programs and for increased funding for several research, rural development, credit, and food safety programs.
We have included a list of our updated funding requests in the attached letter that was previously sent to Appropriations staff. As the Appropriations Committee works to finalize new funding levels with what we are urging be a higher allocation for agriculture, we urge you to focus investments on the critical programs outlined in the attached letter. I would be happy to follow up with any details or justifications you need, but be assured these programs are important to farmers in [your state].
[name of contact]