Urge Your Senator to Vote to Make the Farm Bill Fair

June 6th, 2013

[Note:  The Cornucopia Institute is one of 125 organizations supporting this initiative]


Image courtesy of Ikescs

At stake are many important issues, including funding for the historic Outreach and Assistance Program for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers.  Without passage of the UDALL (NM) amendment #1055, funding for the next five years will be slashed in half! 

Call your Senators at the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Senators’ offices.   Ask for the name and email of the Agriculture Legislative Assistant for your Senator and to speak to them.  Please leave a message if they are not available.

The Message: “I support and ask you to also support equity amendments to the Senate Farm Bill outlined in the letter, including  Senator Udall’s (NM) amendments #1055 training for socially disadvantaged and Veteran Producers Training, Amendment #1045 Receipt for Service, #1048 community irrigation, and #1049 EQIP Irrigation Water Saving and others (see more on these amendments below).  I have a letter signed by 125 organizations and a longer list of amendments to support and oppose that are important to farm, ranch and rural, and urban communities we as members and allies of the Rural Coalition serve. I will email it to you now if you give me your email.”

More Details

Download the Equity letter with list of more amendments and 121 groups signed on here http://tiny.cc/zhw7xw (this link is no longer available).

Udall (NM) – Heinrich (NM) (#1055) Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Producer Training – SUPPORT

The Outreach and Assistance Program for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Rancher (also known as the 2501 Program) is a historic program that provides competitive grants to educational institutions, Extension, and community-based organizations to assist African-American, American-Indian, Asian-American and Latino farmers and ranchers in owning and operating farms and participating in USDA programs. The committee-passed bill expands program eligibility requirements to include veteran farmers and ranchers and funds this program at $10 million annually, about half of previous funding. The amendment would restore funding of $17 million annually in order to serve both the traditional and new producers now eligible for the program. (Send them this link to an information sheet on this amendment)

Udall (NM) – Heinrich (NM) (#1045) Receipt for Service  – SUPPORT

This amendment would make a receipt for service automatic to all farmers requesting service to help assure that all farmers and ranchers receive equitable access and uniform information about all USDA programs.  The amendment will help ensure that the discrimination that lead to recent class action lawsuits does not happen again.

Currently USDA agencies that serve farmers and ranchers are required to provide a time and date stamped receipt for service to each farmer and rancher requesting information or service from USDA or to whom USDA reaches out to provide specific information or service related to applications or availability of funds or service.  Receipt must specify name of producer, date and time of service request, action taken, additional information and assistance provided, reasons for inability to meet a request, and follow-up specified. USDA agencies must maintain a record of receipts provided including information on the race, gender and ethnicity of each producer who requests service, in a format that allows comparison of service. This amendment would make this receipt mandatory for all farmers receiving service in USDA offices.

Additional Information

Staff at the Rural Coalition is busy following the 2013 Farm Bill debate on Social Media. You can on Twitter @Ruralco  and on Facebook.com/RuralCoalition




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