October 1, 2013
At midnight this morning, after months of Congressional inaction, the Farm Bill expired – with no replacement in sight. Back in July, we reported that 240 organizations called on Congress to complete its work on a full and fair farm bill.
As of today, 410 organizations from across America have signed that joint statement, uniting to express their outrage at this failure to enact food security and farm policy reform. In a re-issued joint statement, these groups make plain that now, more than ever, Congress must act to pass a full and fair Farm Bill.
A full and fair Farm Bill must include farm, food and nutrition, conservation and rural economic development programs and commodity and crop insurance reforms. It must also provide renewed and enhanced funding for the now-stranded but critical subset of programs that assist the most chronically under-served segments of agriculture and our rural and urban communities.
A Farm Bill conference is an opportunity to expand equity, justice, and access to farmers, food producers, and consumers alike. The statement therefore supports removing elements that make the bill less fair and that weaken protections for consumers, including those in need of food assistance; or of farmers, labor, and the environment.
The statement also urges Congress to immediately reinstate funding to stranded programs that are so critical to producers and communities around the country. These vital programs – representing a small fraction of overall Farm Bill investments but a small fraction with enormous impact – support beginning, socially disadvantaged, tribal, women, and veteran farmers and ranchers; rural economic development and job creation; renewable energy; fruit and vegetable production; organic farmers; local and regional food systems; farmers markets; healthy food access; and community food and urban agriculture projects.
The 410 organizations represented in today’s joint statement urges Congress to act in an open and urgent fashion to:
To download a copy of the statement re-issued today with the new, longer list of endorsing organizations, click here.