Action Alert - May 17, 2018
Join MOFGA in Urging Representatives Pingree and Poliquin
to Vote "No" on H.R. 2 - the Worst Farm Bill Ever
For several months, the U.S. House of Representatives has been developing and considering amendments to its version of the 2018 Farm Bill (H.R. 2). The House is likely to vote on its draft tomorrow - Friday, May 18. H.R. 2 is a terrible bill, full of bad policy-making, and one that MOFGA and everyone in the organic food and farm movement should reject.
Here are just a few examples of what this bill would do:
- Eliminate the Organic Certification Cost Share Program, which helps certified organic farmers defray administrative fees and provides incentives for farmers to transition to organic production practices.
- Underfund essential beginning and socially disadvantaged farmer programs. With the average age of farmers continuing to rise, the status quo is not enough to ensure the success of these key farmer communities.
- Eliminate mandatory funding for the Farmers' Market and Local Food Promotion Program, Value-Added Producer Grants, and the Rural Energy for America Program. These low-cost programs provide essential support to many family farms in Maine.
- Eliminate the Conservation Stewardship Program, which provides support for resource stewardship on 70 million acres (that’s an area the size of Nevada!) of working farm and ranchland.
- Preempt municipal pesticide ordinances, of which there are almost thirty in Maine.
- Allow the Environmental Protection Agency to rush pesticides to market by circumventing impact assessments of the Endangered Species Act.
- Make major changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP or food stamp) program, which will harm our nation’s hungry and food insecure families and children by kicking over 2 million people off the program.
In short, the House farm bill would be a disaster for farms, diversified and organic operations, the environment, local food systems, low-income families, and rural communities - if it passes, it could set our shared movement back decades.
The good news? It hasn’t passed yet. There’s still time to get a better farm bill done this year.
Help us take one quick action right now to save our food and farm future. Call Representative Chellie Pingree and Representative Bruce Poliquin today. Please note that Representative Pingree has been working hard to defend and implement strong measures to strengthen Maine's organic future. We understand that she plans to cast a "no" vote. Please be sure to thank her for her support. We are uncertain about where Representative Poliquin stands. Please urge him to vote "no" and bring back a better version.
Representative Chellie Pingree - 202-225-6116
Representative Bruce Poliquin - 202-225-6306
Here's what you might say:
Hello, my name is [your name] and I am from [your town]. Please vote NO on H.R. 2 - the 2018 Farm Bill. This bill will harm farmers, communities, resource conservation, local food, beginning farmers, and more [you can be as specific as you want!]. This version of the Farm Bill must be defeated so a decent bill, one we can be proud of, can be brought back for consideration later this year. Thank you.
Thanks for taking 30 seconds to call right now! If this bill fails to pass, it sends a message to the House of Representatives: go back to the drawing board and write a better bill! We deserve a better farm bill for our nation’s farmers and communities.