As we speak, the Senate is debating the contents of the Farm Bill, which will substantially affect the next five years of US food policy. It is upon us to call our Senators and let them know that as Jews, we and our organizations support Farm Bill legislation that:
- reduces hunger and improves nutrition in the United States.
- promotes conservation and proper stewardship of the land.
- enables farmers in both the United States and the developing world to earn sustainable livelihoods.
Every call makes a tremendous difference! The Jewish Farm Bill Working Group just delivered a petition of 18,000 signatures for a Just Farm Bill to the House. By this Shabbat, dial the Senate switchboard:(202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected with one Senator from your state, and then call back and ask to speak with the other Senator. Share who you are, what you care about, and your support for some of the following amendments in the Farm Bill:
1. The Coburn and Durbin Amendments, to limit wasteful subsidy giveaways. Senators Coburn (R-OK) and Durbin (D-IL) have introduced an amendment that limits insurance subsidy payments to the largest farmers.
2. The Cardin Amendment, to protect soil and wetlands. Senator Cardin (D-MD) has introduced an amendment that restores a requirement that farmers receiving subsidy payments follow basic environmental protections.
3.The Gilibrand Amendment, to protect healthy food and nutrition. Senator Gilibrand (D-NY) has proposed an amendment that restores billions of dollars in cuts to the federal food stamp nutrition program, and provides more funding to put fruits and vegetables in schools.
4. You may also wish to support the Brown Amendment, to support small farms and rural development, the Tester Amendment for new organic breed research, the Grassley-Conrad Amendment to reduce corporate control of the slaughterhouses, the Merkeley Amendment, to make crop insurance available to organic farmers, the Leahy Amendment, which would increase institutional support for local food systems.
At the very least, ask them to Hold the Line on Farm Bill Conservation Funding, which is severely threatened by budget cuts. Then go home and tell 2 friends about it!