As you enjoy fresh produce at the farmers market, bring in harvests from your fields, and start to think about new plant varieties to grow next year, remember that Congress is making policy decisions right now that will affect our entire food and farming system for years to come.
Both the House and the Senate have passed their versions of the 2018 Farm Bill. The final phase of this legislation now requires that a conference committee work out the major differences between the two bills and negotiate a final version. There’s much at stake: a bill that supports family farmers, organic agriculture, and a more equitable future, or one that harms farmers and communities and strips away investments from local food systems, organic programs, and more.
In particular, members of Congress need to hear support for increased investments in organic agriculture research; that is, the Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) program to the tune of $50 million. They also need to hear that the organic cost-share program, which off-sets certification costs for organic growers, is important to growing organic production here in the U.S. so that we can expand the environmental, economic, and human health benefits that come with certifying more land as organic.
It will take all of us to ensure Congress makes the right choice for the best possible 2018 Farm Bill. Your voice matters, so please take action. Here are two things you can do today:
- Contact your members in Congress. Find your member in the House here and your two Senators here.
- Sign the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) letter addressed to the conference committee. Read the letter and sign your name here.
These actions will only take a couple minutes! Thanks for picking up the phone and signing your name to NSAC’s letter today.
Thanks to NSAC for much of the content in this post.