In January, OSA joined our National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) grassroots partners in Washington, D.C., to strategize and advocate for federal policies that support sustainable agriculture. We’re a proud represented member of NSAC – a national coalition made up of over a hundred grassroots organizations with a mission to advocate for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.
NSAC members meet remotely to strategize throughout the year and in person twice a year – once outside of Washington, D.C., and another for our winter meeting in D.C., where we also have the opportunity to visit our legislators on the Hill. This year’s winter meeting took place earlier this week when our coalition gathered for two days of strategy and learning. We spent the first day and a half reviewing Farm Bill wins and losses, and our plan for moving into the next phase of advocacy around the bill. On the second day, we engaged in racial justice trainings – an absolutely crucial focus of our coalition’s work. The meeting concluded with a panel of local food justice leaders discussing sustainable agriculture and unsustainable inequities.
Now that the Farm Bill has been signed into law, our work shifts to the appropriations process. It’s during this time that the House and Senate make decisions on how much funding will be allocated to carry out Farm Bill priorities. This is a crucial time for continued policy work and we met with partners on our NSAC Research, Education, and Extension Committee to strategize how to move forward important wins for organic research and farming that we got in the new Farm Bill.
On day three of our winter meeting, coalition members met with their representatives and senators to discuss our NSAC goals. OSA’s Cathleen McCluskey is located in our Madison, Wisconsin, office and joined other Wisconsin NSAC members to meet with staffers from Senators Baldwin (D-WI) and Johnson (R-WI) offices. She also met with Senator Cantwell’s (D-WA) staff to discuss organic seed research needs in Washington State and concerns over the proposed NIFA/ERS move.
Are any of your elected officials on an agricultural appropriations committee? See the list of House members here and the Senate members here. We’ll be reaching out to those of you who’ve signed up to receive our policy alerts over the next few months while we continue to advocate for seed and plant breeding research funding and other important asks in the new Farm Bill.
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