Beginning Farmer Program Cuts in House Bill: Act NOW

House Agriculture Committee proposes a 50% cut to beginning and socially disadvantaged farmer programs!

The House Agriculture Committee released its draft 2012 Farm Bill late last week, and it has problems. The bill targets highly successful beginning and socially disadvantaged farmer programs for 50% funding cuts – why should our nation’s next generation of farmers bear this burden while we continue to subsidize industrial mega-farms?  But it’s not too late to change this – the committee will start voting on amendments for the farm bill TOMORROW. If you live in a state with a representative who is a member of the House Agriculture Committee (See the list Here: http://agriculture.house.gov/singlepages.aspx?NewsID=1222&LSBID=23|69&RBSUSDA=T) PLEASE call and leave a message tonight or early tomorrow asking them to vote for the following Amendments; and If your Representative is not on the House Agriculture Committee, call Committee Chairman Frank Lucas at (202) 225-5565 and Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson at (202) 225-2165 and ask them to support these ammendments:
  • Rep. Fortenberry and Rep. Walz’s amendment to improve and strengthen the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program and other critical beginning farmer efforts across the country.
  • Rep. Gibson and Rep. Boswell’s amendment to establish a Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison at USDA.
  • Rep. Fudge and Rep. Fortenberry’s amendment to allow the USDA to make small business loans tailored to meet the needs of small, young, beginning, and military veteran farmers and ranchers.
Our nation’s farmers are aging, and we can’t afford to wait any longer to help the next generation of farmers and ranchers get off to a strong start.  Programs that invest in the future of American agriculture and provide assistance to beginning and historically underserved farmers and ranchers deserve full support in the Committee’s bill. Every single call or email you make has an impact on how your Representative will vote tomorrow!

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