An action alert from our partners at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition:
Do you believe in fairness for farmers?
We sure do. We’re talking about common-sense basics here: ensuring independent growers have a fair crack in the marketplace against Big Ag and closing loopholes so mega-farms can’t rake in excessive subsidies that they don’t need. The time to fight for the rights of our nation’s independent producers against abuses by large corporations, and for common-sense, long overdue reforms to our nation’s commodity subsidy programs, is right now. This is our chance to make the changes that this bill desperately needs in order to work for sustainable farmers and a better food & farm future.
Your voice matters – speak out today!
There’s so much at stake right now. First, long-overdue, common-sense subsidy reforms that will save taxpayers money and were approved by bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate last year are on the chopping block in behind-the-scenes negotiations! Limiting subsidies and eliminating loopholes in the commodity programs – known as payment limitation reform – will keep mega-farms from abusing the system. It ought to be a no-brainer. And majorities in the House and Senate have already approved identical reform provisions. Yet still a handful of dedicated opponents are fighting tooth and nail to strip out the reforms.
Adding insult to injury: Big Ag is trying to push through an amendment that would strip farmers and ranchers of basic legal protections against unfair treatment at the hands of large corporations (like retaliation, where a corporation can bankrupt a farmer for raising a grievance). If Big Ag wins and USDA can’t enforce what’s known as the GIPSA rule, independent meat and poultry producers have no legal protection against outright abuse.
Washington Congresswoman Suzan DelBene sits on the committee that is putting the finishing touches on the Farm Bill and making decisions on these issues. Call her office now to make sure the final bill is fair and supports organic farmers.
Calling is easy!
Call 202.225.6311 and ask for Agriculture Staffer Ben Barasky
Step 2: Tell him:
Hi, my name is _____, and I’m a constituent and a voter calling about the farm bill. Since you are a member of the farm bill conference committee, I ask you to:
Please oppose any amendment that strips fair market protections from independent farmers and ranchers by preventing enforcement of GIPSA rules. Growers deserve a fair shot in the marketplace and protection from abusive practices!
Please oppose any attempt to weaken or remove common-sense commodity subsidy reforms in the 2014 Farm Bill! Payment limitation reform for commodity subsidy programs was supported on a bipartisan basis last year in the House and Senate and must be included in the final bill – it saves money and limits abuse of the system!
Thank you for your time!