The Daily Dirt

Ensure That the Force is Strong with the new Farm Bill

vader_farmbillThe Farm Bill is a lot like a zombie—just when you think it’s dead, it jumps up and lunges at you. Now it’s lurching through Congress, where the Senate may vote on it as early as this week.

Maybe the Farm Bill is more like Darth Vader: scary, intimidating, evil on the outside but with the potential to be a hero. The debate will be intense. Please, read a bit more to learn about the pros and cons of this version of the Farm Bill, and then pick up the phone to nudge your Senator to use the good side of the Force on the Farm Bill.

Healthy food comes from healthy farms, and Georgia’s senators have a lot of clout when it comes to agriculture.

The Jedi Farm Bill would:

The Dark Side Farm Bill Would:

On a related note, it’s very interesting that at the same time Congress wrangles with the Farm Bill, USDA Commissioner Tom Vilsak unveiled several new efforts to support organic farmers. He even told NPR:

“I think it’s important [organic agriculture], as we take a look at how we might rebuild the rural economy and revitalize it. We want to make sure young people have an opportunity to get into the farming business and that can be expensive unless you start small.”

Call Senator Johnny Isakson at 202-224-3643, or email him here.

Call Senator Saxby Chambliss at 202-224-3521 or email him here.

Tell the person who answers the phone something like this:

“My name is ___________

“I’m calling to urge the senator to help beginning farmers and support sustainable agriculture by protecting the Conservation Stewardship Program and the successful National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program.

Also, ask him to protect SNAP and important programs like SNAP-Ed.

Optional: “I grow/enjoy safe, nutritious food and think these programs are essential for Georgia’s physical and economic health. Thank you!”

(A big thanks to our friends at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition for their help in assessing the Farm Bill, and for lobbying to make it as good as it should be.)

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