Beginning Farmer Programs in the Farm Bill

We've been fighting for beginning farmer programs in the Farm Bill for over two years now, and today might be our day to win, if we all make a call right now!Unless the Senate acts to fix the situation next week, 2013 is on track to be the worst setback for sustainable agriculture in years. When Congress passed the Farm Bill extension on New Year’s Eve, they left dozens of critical sustainable agriculture programs unfunded! These include the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, which funds countless training programs, Organic Cost-Share, and many more*. On Monday March 11, 2013 the Senate will work on a overall budget for the rest of 2013 – and they have a chance to restore funding for these key programs.  But they’ve got to know from you that these issues matter. Making a call takes only a minute – please call right now! Please call your Senators using the Capitol switchboard: (202) 224-3121, and ask for their office. An example message for your Senator is: "I am calling to urge the Senator to support mandatory funding in the bill for the programs that were stranded in the farm bill extension, including the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. These programs are essential to beginning farmers like me in [enter your state here], and they must be funded. " To see a list of the programs that will be affected click "read more"

* Some of the programs currently stranded without funding include:
  • Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
  • Value-Added Producer Grant Program
  • Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program
  • Rural Energy for America Program
  • Organic Agriculture Research & Extension Initiative
  • National Organic Certification Cost Share Program
  • Organic Production & Market Data Initiatives
  • Farmers Market Promotion Program
  • Outreach & Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers & Ranchers
  • Conservation Reserve Program - Transition Incentive Program

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