Is this reform?
June 8th, 2012
The Senate agriculture committee’s version of the 2012 Farm Bill is up for debate by the full Senate this week. This bill made historic gains in some areas of farm program payments: championed by Senate leaders as a “true reform bill,” the bill strengthens the farm safety net, caps commodity payments, and tightens eligibility for farm subsidies.
But in farming communities across the country – from Georgia to Montana – we hear that this is not the real reform that farmers envisioned.
True reform would close loopholes and place caps on all subsidies (not just the least expensive), and would ensure protection for America’s precious natural resources. Unfortunately, the current farm bill falls short. The bill caps and closes loopholes on smaller commodity subsidies while leaving larger crop insurance subsidies uncapped, untargeted, and without limits – is this real reform? And the bill fails to attach important conservation requirements to crop insurance for the protection of our nation’s water, land, and soil – is this real reform?
Soon, Senators Coburn (R-OK) and Durbin (D-IL) will introduce an amendment that for the first time limits crop insurance subsidies for the wealthiest farmers, and Senator Cardin (D-MD) will introduce an amendment that reattaches basic conservation requirements to crop insurance, as was the case until 1996. Will you support the Senators’ efforts in making the 2012 Farm Bill a true reform bill?
Call your Senators today and ask for their support on these important amendments:
Tell your Senators: Please protect the historic gains that were made on commodity payments in the Committee-passed 2012 Farm Bill and support amendments that will ensure real reform. Please support the Coburn-Durbin amendment, which places long-overdue limits on crop insurance subsidies — America’s largest farm subsidy – and builds on the current reforms that cap commodity payments in the farm bill. And please support the Cardin amendment on conservation compliance, which reattaches important conservation requirements to crop insurance, as it was until 1996.
Your Senators need to hear that you want a farm bill with real reform and real improvements for the future of farming. Don’t delay – the Senate will begin debate on the 2012 Farm Bill this week, so they need to hear from you today.
Thank you for all that you do,
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Grassroots Team
P.S. When you call, tell us how it went! And help us spread the word by sharing this message!