Congress is in its final stage of discussions around the 2018 Farm Bill. Representatives from both the House and the Senate will be meeting to combine their versions of the legislation into the final bill. This is a crucial moment. Everything that this committee decides on will be in effect for the next four years. This is our last chance to make sure members of Congress prioritize people and the planet.
The House version of the Farm Bill was extremely unpopular and so partisan that it did not get a single Democratic vote. The Senate version, on the other hand, was overwhelmingly bipartisan and passed 86-11. We need a strong show of force right now to make sure the Senate bill is the final version of the Farm Bill. Contact your Senators now:
We also asked our supporters to email their Representatives. If you didn’t get a chance to, it’s not too late!
Dear [Name of Congressperson],
I am writing to urge you to ensure that critical provisions from the Senate version of the Farm Bill are included in the final version of the Farm Bill that will be negotiated in Conference. While the House version of the Farm Bill was overly partisan and unpopular, the Senate version was widely applauded, had broad bipartisan support, and should be the basis for the 2018 Farm Bill.
In particular, I urge you to support the language in the Senate version of the Farm Bill that:
- Protects SNAP funding and does not include extreme and unnecessary work requirements that will deepen hunger and poverty and burden States with implementing requirements.
- Maintains and improves the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) by providing improved coordination between the programs and increasing support for cover crops and diversified crop rotations, among others.
- Strengthens the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program as well as the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program, which will improve support for historically underserved and beginning farmers.
- Creates opportunities for farmers producing on “heirs property” to access USDA programs and ensure that farmland can stay in the hands of African-American farmers and farmers of color and be passed on to future generations.
The 2018 Farm Bill is critical for farmers, workers, low-income communities, and the environment. Please make sure that Senate leadership and the conference committee members understand these provisions are essential to earn your vote. Your action to ensure that it works for the people is vital.