February 1, 2023
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Zaks
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Release: NSAC Hosts Farm Bill Lobby Day
Members Meet with Lawmakers to Share Stories and Priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill
Washington, DC, February 1, 2023 – Today, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) hosted a lobby day for coalition members to meet with Congressional leaders and senior USDA officials to encourage them to prioritize sustainable food and farm needs and farmer-led solutions in the upcoming farm bill reauthorization. Members from across the country scheduled 100 visits throughout the day with members of Congress from their home states and districts to champion the federal programs and reforms most important to them and their communities.
“As the new Congress settles in, our members and farmer advocates are convening in DC in preparation for the upcoming 2023 Farm Bill reauthorization. We have come together to advocate for our shared values around the future of sustainable farming, climate, and racial equity. Sharing our stories is one of the most powerful tools we have to make change and communicate the needs of our invaluable farmers and growers across the country.” said Kelsey Watson, NSAC Grassroots Co-Director.
NSAC’s recently launched 2023 Farm Bill Platform offers a comprehensive, member-driven vision for a more sustainable farm and food system informed by the expert analysis and experience of farmers, ranchers, and food system stakeholders nationwide.
“Following an energizing Winter Meeting, our coalition is eager to begin work with the 118th Congress, including with dozens of first-time lawmakers. Today, in 100 meetings across Capitol Hill and at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, our members are elevating key bipartisan policy priorities in support of a more equitable and resilient food system,” said Mike Lavender, NSAC Policy Director.
The lobby day came on the heels of NSAC’s Winter Meeting, which included remarks by United States Secretary of Agriculture, Thomas J. Vilsack, who detailed USDA’s vision and efforts under the Biden-Harris Administration to create an economy where the wealth and opportunities created in rural America stay there and where a transformed food system helps create new and better markets and more resilient farms and ranches. Members spent the meeting The NSAC Winter Meeting was a chance for members to strategizing together e around coalition priorities for the year and plans to ensure that the next farm bill advances racial equity, builds a climate-resilient future, invests in resilient local and regional food systems, and levels the playing field for small- and medium-sized farms and farm-related businesses.
Farmers and advocates came to Washington, DC to advocate for a range of issues including increased support for sustainable agriculture research, local and regional food systems, working lands conservation, and improving crop insurance. Participants also voiced their support for specific pieces of legislation, such as the Agriculture Resilience Act and the Strengthening Local Processing Act.
“Our meetings with lawmakers today felt productive and the response was positive, It is bittersweet that this will be the final farm bill under Senator Stabenow’s leadership, but we are pleased to be developing relationships with incoming members of Congress and planting the seeds for a farm bill that will impact those in our state and beyond,” said Joe Lesausky, Food Access Director with Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA), an NSAC member.
“I am hopeful that through these meetings lawmakers will see the value of healthy food systems and of building back resilience. Flaws in our supply chain exposed during the Pandemic are examples of why we need to strengthen local food systems to reduce food waste and address producer access to inputs. It is exciting to share information with Members of Congress to help them understand and respond to our stakeholders’ needs,” said Ramkrishnan Balasubramanian, Executive Director of Florida Organic Growers, also an NSAC member.
NSAC has been a leader in agricultural policy for more than 30 years and has been instrumental in helping to develop some of our nation’s most successful agricultural programs for conserving natural resources, advancing the next generation of farmers, supporting agricultural research, and creating sustainable market connections.
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