September 11, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Reana Kovalcik
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Support for Local Food Farm Bill Programs Builds in the House
NSAC applauds efforts to ensure new LAMP program is included in 2018 Farm Bill
Washington, DC, September 11, 2018 – Today, 43 Congress members, led by Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME), stood up to defend value-added agriculture and local and regional food programs by sending a bipartisan letter to the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee leadership requesting the inclusion of the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) in the final 2018 Farm Bill. This effort complements outreach by American food and farm organizations, over 300 of which also recently sent a letter to House and Senate leadership asking that they invest in farmers and rural and urban communities by providing permanent funding for LAMP.
LAMP is a new program that was formed from the combination of two existing local and regional food economy programs with strong track records of success, the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) and the Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) program. By combining FMLFPP and VAPG, LAMP leverages all the best pieces of each program while also increasing their combined funding to a high enough level to ensure permanent baseline.
In response to the House letter, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) issued the following comment:
Local and regional food economies are growing across the nation, and increasingly they are a source of much-needed support for farmers and also for hungry American families. LAMP will light the path forward for our nation’s family farmers by strengthening two immensely popular and successful programs, FMLFPP and VAPG. By combining these programs, LAMP can ensure that farmers markets and other direct-market outlets continue to get the support they need to serve their communities. LAMP will also help to strengthen food systems beyond the community-level by leveraging a new public-private partnership provision to invest in infrastructure like food hubs and distribution centers. Lastly, LAMP would create a new food safety cost-share program that will help farmers make needed upgrades to their practices and infrastructure.
We thank all the signers of the House letter for their support of and outreach on this important program, and urge the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee to invest in a bright future for American family farmers by including LAMP in the final version of the farm bill.
Representatives signed onto the letter include: Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., Earl Blumenauer, G. K. Butterfield, André Carson, Kathy Castor, David N. Cicilline, Peter DeFazio, Diana DeGette, Rosa L. DeLauro, Adriano Espaillat, Dwight Evans, Jeff Fortenberry, Tulsi Gabbard, John Garamendi, Jared Huffman, Marcy Kaptur, Ron Kind, Barbara Lee, Ted W. Lieu, Zoe Lofgren, Alan Lowenthal, Doris Matsui, Betty McCollum, A. Donald McEachin, Grace Meng, Seth Moulton, Dan Newhouse, Richard M. Nolan, Ed Perlmutter, Chellie Pingree, Mark Pocan, Jared Polis, David E. Price, Tim Ryan, Jan Schakowsky, Carol Shea-Porter, Darren Soto, Mike Thompson, Niki Tsongas, Peter Welch, Denny Heck, and Ben Ray Luján.
About the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Learn more and get involved at: http://sustainableagriculture.net