Monday, July 2, 2007

So you want to write a letter...

Some of you I have talked to recently are about to write a letter to Congress. Here's a refresher on what Bread for the World recommends and what has been going on most recently with the farm bill....

Bread for the World advocates farm bill reforms that will:
-provide more targeted and equitable support for U.S. farmers;
-strengthen communities in rural America;
-provide an adequate, nutritious diet for hungry people in this country;
-remove obstacles to poor farmers in developing countries working to earn their way out of poverty.

Two great bills have been introduced that would accomplish many objectives. The bill introduced by Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), the Food and Agriculture Risk Management for the 21st Century Act (FARM 21), was introduced in the House on June 14 as H.R. 2720. The bill would set up a procedure to transition the nation's farmers from existing commodity payment programs to alternative forms of support, and would increase funding for the farm bill's nutrition title and investments that strengthen rural communities. Earlier, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) introduced a similar bill in the Senate as S. 1422.

Good news: The House subcommittee responsible for rural development made good proposals, including a $20 million per year program for rural entrepreneurs and small businesses. Plus, the House subcommittee responsible for nutrition recommended strengthening the Food Stamp Program

Bad news: The House subcommittee responsible for subsidies recommended against any changes to subsidy programs

Next Steps for Congress: Recommendation goes back to full House Ag Committee for review. Later this year, the farm bill will go to the House and Senate floors.

Action for YOU: Write your senators and rep to make sure they're aware that this fight is going on and which bills you want them to support. Right now is a key time to do this before it gets to the open House and Senate floors.

THANK YOU FOR READING! I know it's dry, but it's important!

No comments: