Update: The Senate is voting on the Farm Bill on Tuesday, June 26. Call your Senators now using the form below!
U.S. Senators are voting on the Farm Bill on Monday, June 25. Thanks to supporters like you, the Senate has drafted a Farm Bill that, while it isn’t everything we want, keeps existing programs in place to help new farmers, farmers of color and low-income families. We need to make sure nothing bad gets into the bill at the last minute and take the chance now to get some good things in before Monday’s vote! Email and call your Senators now to demand a Farm Bill that works for farmers, families and the environment:
Message to Senators
Dear Senator [Name of Senator],
As the Senate prepares to vote on the 2018 Farm Bill, I urge you to do everything you can to ensure that food assistance, protections for family farmers, and conservation programs are defended and expanded.
Important programs have been included in the draft text of the Farm Bill, and I encourage you to:
- Maintain the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which has helped farms and rural small businesses build thousands of renewable energy projects that contribute to local economic development as well as environmental sustainability.
- Maintain the SNAP safety net, with no burdensome work requirements or changes to categorical eligibility.
However, there are critical changes that still need to be made. I urge you to:
- Cosponsor and support the Fair Access for Farmers and Ranchers Act to allow producers farming on land where owners passed away without leaving a will or assigning an executor – “heirs’ property” – to secure access to USDA programs so that they can stay farming on their land and pass it on to new generations.
- Ensure that USDA farm loan programs continue to serve diverse small and mid-scale farms and provide a safety net for all farmers.
Finally, there are some problematic pieces in the draft Farm Bill that I urge you to change:
- Cap government payments to the largest farms and to factory livestock operations, particularly through the EQIP program.
- Protect the “organic” label and remove the proposed changes to the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board.
The Farm Bill only comes around every four years, yet it is so critical for our country. It needs to protect family farmers, sustain the environment, and ensure that everyone can access and afford healthy food.