NSAC's Blog

Addressing Equity and Fairness in the 2012 Farm Bill

February 17, 2012

On February 1st and 2nd, NSAC was one of 30 farm, food security, and environmental groups that participated in a two day summit held in Washington, D.C. to exchange policy ideas about the farm bill.  The primary goal of the summit was to identify specific areas of collaboration to move forward collectively in the 2012 Farm Bill agenda.

A major takeaway from the summit was developing a joint sign on letter addressed to the leadership of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, voicing support for getting a farm bill done this year and for new or renewed mandatory farm bill funding for some of the major programs that serve historically underserved segments of agriculture, including:

  • Outreach and Technical Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Program
  • Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
  • Federally Recognized Tribal Extension Program
  • Grants to Improve the Agricultural Labor Workforce Program
  • Emergency Disaster Grants for Farmworkers Program

The letter also voiced strong support for farm bill programs that also need renewed mandatory funding in the 2012 Farm Bill and that are relied upon by beginning and minority farmers among other constituencies, including:

  • Rural Micro-entrepreneur Assistance Program
  • Value-Added Producer Grants
  • National Organic Certification Cost Share Program
  • Rural Energy for America Program
  • Biomass Crop Assistance Program

The letter also affirmed continuing support for community food grants, local food systems infrastructure funding, healthy food incentives for SNAP recipients, and continued support for 1890 and 1994 Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions.

A total of 136 organizations, representing millions of farmers, ranchers, farmworkers, businesses and consumers throughout the country, signed onto the letter which was delivered to members of the Agriculture Committees on February 14th.  Among the organizations that signed onto the letter, were American Farmland Trust, Community Food Security Coalition, Farm Aid, Farmworker Association of Florida, Food and Water Watch, Intertribal Agriculture Council, National Family Farm Coalition, National Wildlife Foundation, , Rural Coalition/Coalicion Rural, National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association, National Women in Agriculture Association, National Young Farmers’ Coalition,  and many other groups working on these issues both at the national and local level.

To download a PDF copy of the letter, click here.

Categories: Beginning and Minority Farmers, Farm Bill

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