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Release: Farmers Come to DC Asking Policymakers to Make Climate a Priority in the Farm Bill

March 2, 2023

For Immediate Release

Contact: Laura Zaks

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition


Release: Farmers Come to DC Asking Policymakers to Make Climate a Priority in the Farm Bill

Washington, DC, March 2, 2023 – Next week farmers, farmworkers and farmer allies will be heading to Washington D.C. to ask lawmakers to prioritize climate solutions in the 2023 Farm Bill. The Farmers for Climate Action: Rally for Resilience will highlight the need to simultaneously address climate impacts, racial justice, and needed improvements to antitrust and fair competition laws. Communities need federal support to address these challenges head on.

Spearheaded by NSAC and Farm Aid and supported by an alliance of organizations (listed here), the Rally will welcome farmers from across the country who are dedicated to climate solutions. 

“There’s a long, honorable tradition of farmers mobilizing in Washington, and this is part of that tradition,” notes Michael Foley, Cultural Impact Director at Farm Aid.

Lasting solutions to climate change are those that prioritize farmer-led solutions and that focus on racial justice. Many of the speakers at the Rally events are farmers and farmworkers of color who will lay out how their farming methods are working to build solutions to climate change.

“The climate crisis is here now, with Black, Indigenous, and farmers and farmworkers of color experiencing some of the worst impacts to their health, safety, and livelihoods. We are here in DC to ask Congress to commit to investing in climate solutions that directly support Black, Indigenous, and farmers and farmworkers of color in the next farm bill,” said Maleeka Manurasada, National Organizer at HEAL Food Alliance. “We urge the House and Senate Agriculture committees to address the challenges of a changing climate in the next farm bill, which must be a climate justice bill.”

The Rally opens on Monday, March 6 at The Lutheran Church at Thomas Circle, 1126 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. Starting at 4pm, farmers and farmworkers will share their stories of dealing with the climate crisis. Immediately following at 5pm, a reception will include food and drinks and an opportunity to network with farmers attending the rally events. The reception will also take place in The Lutheran Church.

On Tuesday, March 7 events will kick off at 11am with a Rally in Freedom Plaza, 1325 Pennsylvania Ave, NW. In addition to a formidable line-up of farmer and farmworker speakers, Farm Aid founding board member John Mellencamp, Durham, NC-based Shirlette Ammons, and local group Lil Idli will perform. There will also be electric tractors, ice cream, and food trucks. The event will close with a video from Willie Nelson. Participants will then march from Freedom Plaza to the Capitol.

On Wednesday, March 8, the day’s events will open with a press conference at Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 East Capitol St, NE, Washington, DC. This will include comments from Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA), Union of Concerned Scientists President Johanna Chao Kreilick, and farmers and farmworkers from around the country. There will be an opportunity for Q&A. 

Following the press conference, participants will head to meetings with Congressional offices on Capitol Hill. As farmers and farmworkers meet with lawmakers, they will emphasize the need for a transformative Farm Bill to address the climate crisis.

“That hundreds of farmers are willing to leave their farms – as spring emerges throughout much of the country – is a sign of just how essential it is to their livelihoods, families, and communities that Congress deliver more than a status quo Farm Bill. As this vast alliance of farmers and advocates assembles in our nation’s Capitol, we urge Congress to deliver changes to ensure that the next Farm Bill reflects real, inclusive, and systematic change,” said Mike Lavender, NSAC Policy Director. 

Farmers and farmworkers coming to this event seek much more than a focus on greenhouse gas mitigation in the Farm Bill. They want to see solutions that build farm and community resilience to both climate impacts and to economic forces that reduce farmer autonomy and increase consolidation. In short, they seek to have federal support for climate justice built into the Farm Bill.


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: https://sustainableagriculture.net

Categories: Farm Bill, Press Releases

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