Congress is Running Out of Time

4 September 2012

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We urge YOU to contact your Senators and Representatives NOW before it’s too late.

What’s Happening?

The 2008 Farm Bill expires September 30th, giving the Senate 15 legislative days, and the House 8 legislative days to complete the re-authorization process.

We urge you to contact your Senators and Representatives to demand they work to secure an equitable five-year reform bill that protects small programs that many have worked so hard to include in the 2008 Farm Bill.

Your voice needs to be heard.  Call your Senators and Representatives

Need Talking Points?

–          Demand they finish the 2012 Farm Bill re-authorization process, or complete a comprehensive 2008 Farm Bill extension (to include small but critical programs):

  • Full re-authorization status: The Senate has passed its 2012 Farm Bill, but the House has failed to continue the work completed over a month ago by the House Agriculture Committee.  The next step is for the full House to amend and pass the House Agriculture Committee Bill.
  • Comprehensive Extension status: Congress could extend the 2008 Farm Bill through FY 2013, with funding to support and protect socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers, supply chains for local food, entrepreneurial development, new energy sources, new markets, and nutrition programs. This type of extension is the only extension that adequately addresses the critical issues for the constituencies we represent and for our farm bill programs.

–          Do not allow the following critical programs currently receiving less than $50 million per year to be left with no funding for FY 2013 or the next five years if the Farm Bill is allowed to expire:

  • These programs support disadvantaged and beginning producers, farmworkers, Indian tribes, local food programs, rural development, renewable energy, conservation, and many others.  Find list of 37 programs here.
  • These programs need a strong voice of support by our Senators and Representatives during their remaining legislative days.

–          Provide immediate help for the half of all U.S. counties are designated primary disaster areas, leaving farmers in desperate need of the disaster assistance included in the drafts of the 2012 Farm Bill.

–          Continue full funding for Nutrition Programs to assure breakfast, lunch and dinner for all families in the United States, and oppose repeated efforts to deeply cut these important programs.

Share our message to your Senator directly.

House Directory

 

More Background: A message from the Rural Coalition

Congress is returning from August recess and will be in session for less than a month before the end of this fiscal year. This is the last chance for Congress to act on the Farm Bill legislation before it expires at the end of September.

The Rural Coalition, California Food and Justice Coalition, and other partner organizations and allies participating in the “Getting Our Act Together” (GOAT) on the farm bill process have been advocating to retain the gains made in the 2008 Farm Bill for socially disadvantaged and beginning producers, farmworkers, Indian tribes, and in support of nutrition and local food programs. We understand there is a need to work quickly to fill the gap left by the 2008 Farm Bill. Currently, many farmers across the U.S. are suffering from severe drought, desperately needing disaster assistance that has been included in the drafts of the new Farm Bill.  Also, crucial programs for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, rural and small business development, renewable energy, local food, and organic and specialty crop research will be left with no funding for FY 2013 if the Farm Bill is allowed to expire.

There are several ways in which Congress can act on this legislation before the end of the fiscal year. The Senate has passed its 2012 Farm Bill but the House has failed to continue the work completed over a month ago in the House Agriculture Committee by bringing the bill to the full House of Representatives for a vote. Congress could also extend the 2008 Farm Bill through sometime in FY 2013, which begins on October 1, 2012. The 2008 Farm Bill funding supporting new farmers, supply chains for local food, entrepreneurial development, new energy sources, new markets, and high impact research should be extended, along with adequate funding for nutrition programs should be directly addressed and assured. This type of extension is the only extension that adequately addresses the critical issues for the constituencies we represent and for our farm bill programs.

THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW!

We urge all member organizations and allies to contact your Senators and your Representatives and ask them to work to secure a full and equitable five-year reform bill that protects beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, rural and small business development, renewable energy, conservation, local food, and organic and specialty crop research. Ask them to support rural and urban job creation, expanding economic opportunity and equity for all in agriculture, building new markets, putting food on the table of struggling families, and conserving energy and natural resources through a comprehensive 2008 Farm Bill extension or finishing the 2012 Farm Bill.

 

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CFJC promotes the basic human right to healthy food while advancing social, agricultural, environmental and economic justice. Through advocacy, organizing and education, we collaborate with community-based efforts to create a sustainable food supply. We envision a food system in which all activities, from farm to table, are equitable, healthful, regenerative and community-driven.

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