This action alert is from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, of which CalCAN is a member. We encourage those in California to make calls to the below Senators (numbers and script included). For those from other states, call the Congressional switchboard to get connected directly: (202) 224-3121.
This is a big week: the 2018 Farm Bill is on the move again! You helped us achieve some great progress over the past several months: this Senate version of the farm bill largely does right by sustainable agriculture, local food, beginning farmers and farmers of color, organics, and more. It is overall a step in the right direction on many issues.
But our work’s not done yet! The Senate farm bill bill also includes major corporate giveaways that make it harder for family-scale independent farmers and ranchers to succeed. To build a more sustainable food and farm future we’ve got to have both those good investments in farmers and food systems and reforms to the policies that underpin the system.
Right now, this bill lets Wall Street investors and other non-farmers collect nearly unlimited farm subsidies and over-subsidizes crop insurance for the wealthiest operations. These loopholes contribute to unaffordable farmland for would-be independent family farmers and distort competition for everyone.* The farm safety net is critical, but taxpayer resources must be directed fairly.
Several Senators attempted to introduce amendments just a few weeks ago in the Agriculture Committee to put in place some common-sense reforms, but they were kept from a vote.** They aren’t giving up, though – and neither are we. We have a chance again this week to achieve reforms that will stop corporate giveaways, limit land ownership consolidation, and ensure a more level playing field for farmers nationwide. The two positive amendments with the most bipartisan support are being offered on the Senate floor this week by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL).
Can you take 60 seconds to call your Senators in support of the Grassley and Durbin amendments?
Here’s a sample message to share:
Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a constituent. I understand the Senate is debating the 2018 Farm Bill this week. I’d like to share a message for the Senator’s agriculture staffer, please. Here is the message: I urge the Senator to SUPPORT Senator Grassley’s amendment to the farm bill that will ensure farm commodity payments go to family farms, not corporate investors. I also urge the Senator to SUPPORT Senator Durbin’s amendment to reduce crop insurance subsidies for millionaires. These two amendments are common-sense reform measures that will help independent family farmers and ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. Thank you for your time.
That’s all it takes! Thanks for your help – this is a major turning point in our work for a better 2018 Farm Bill.
The NSAC Grassroots Team
* A recently released Government Accountability Office report found that taxpayers provided $260 million in farm program payments to individuals who do not live or work on a farm. These payments should be targeted to farmers.
** Read more about the Senate Agriculture Committee process on our blog.