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Stand With Independent Poultry Growers: NOW is the time!

On June 15, farmer Eric Hedrick visited Washington, DC to deliver over 62,000 petition signatures to the Hill here in Washington, DC. In his own words:

“I’m a West Virginia poultry farmer, and I’m asking for your help. I recently went public about problems in the poultry industry such as diseased birds and genetic deformities. My story was featured in the New York Times. But I took a major risk in coming forward: most farmers in my situation are afraid to speak out against injustices and company wrongdoing because the poultry industry and its lobby are so powerful. Help me keep the poultry industry honest and make it possible for farmers like me to do their jobs. Tell the Senate to support farmer safeguards under USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).  GIPSA gives poultry farmers support to gain basic protections—like making it illegal for companies to retaliate against us, and giving us guaranteed access to a jury trial if we have grievances. Unfortunately the House, through backdoor efforts, passed a budget that includes an obstructive rider; and that rider defunds GIPSA. We can’t let the rider into the Senate, too.”

Can you stand with Eric today? You can help! EVERY SINGLE LEGISLATOR needs to hear from folks back home that farmers deserve a level playing field, not manipulation and retaliation from Big Meat. All it takes is one quick, easy call. Here’s how:

  • Call the Congressional switchboard: 202-224-3121
  • The operator will be able to connect you directly to both of your Senators and your Representative (one at a time, of course).
  • Share a message like this one with whoever answers the phone:
  • “Hello, my name is ___ and I’m a constituent and a voter (and tell ‘em if you’re a farmer!).  I would like to leave a message for the person who handles agriculture for [Your Senator/Rep].  Can you take a message for me, please?  The message is:  please DO NOT SUPPORT any amendments or riders in the coming Senate agriculture appropriations bill that would block funding for USDA’s efforts to finalize rules to protect farmers’ rights. Farmers and ranchers deserve a fair shot in the marketplace and should not be subject to abuse from industrial meatpackers. Thank you for your time.”



How Can I Get Involved with NSAC?

If you care about getting healthy food to everyone, protecting our natural resources, and supporting the next generation of American farmers, then you’ll want to get involved this year!

  • STAY INFORMED: Sign up for Action Alerts on our homepage; this is our #1 means to communicate with people like you when it’s time to take action.
  • GROW THE MOVEMENT: Share this page with your friends and family and ask them to join our campaign!
  • TELL YOUR STORY: Are you a farmer who has benefited from – or struggled with – federal farm programs? We want to hear from you! Contact us to share your experience and potentially be part of our farmer storybank.
  • GET TO KNOW YOUR LEGISLATORS: Do you know who your Senators and Representative are? Do you know how they vote on sustainable agriculture issues? Find out who represents you here; send ’em an email and ask them how they voted on the issues that matter to YOU.
  • JOIN US ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Did you know that many legislators really do read what folks share with them via Facebook and Twitter? Follow NSAC on Facebook and Twitter – and consider following your legislators, too!