Please Support Beginning Farmer Programs in the Next Farm Bill – Just a Few Minutes of Your Time Really Makes A Difference
A new year has begun – and it’s a really important one for farmers. Congress will work this year to write the 2018 Farm Bill, which sets the rules of the road for our nation’s food and farms!
As this process begins, the farmers and ranchers across the country who feed us are getting older – the average American farmer is nearing 60! Now is the time to invest in the next generation of folks who want to raise our food and steward the land for years to come. They’re going to be job creators, entrepreneurs, and innovators of the future – provided we help them get the resources and skills they need to succeed.
It’s not easy to get into farming – gaining access to land, credit, business skills, and markets is harder than it should be for many beginning growers.
But there’s good news: a bill introduced in the House of Representatives seeks to ensure our next generation of farmers and ranchers thrives! The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act (H.R. 4316) will knock down long-standing barriers to entry and open new doors to economic opportunity for new and aspiring farmers. This legislation will ensure that the 2018 Farm Bill gives real support to both aspiring and retiring farmers and ranchers, as well as the American public, by:
- Expanding beginning farmers’ access to affordable farmland
- Empowering new farmers with the skills to succeed in today’s agricultural economy
- Ensuring equitable access to financial capital and federal crop insurance
- Encouraging a commitment to stewardship across generations
What happens next? Congress is already starting work on the 2018 Farm Bill – now we need to make sure The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act is included in that package! For that to happen, the bill needs co-sponsors – legislators who will stand up for farmers and communities and support beginning farmer programs by becoming co-sponsors of champions.
Will you ask your legislator to stand up for the next generation of farmers and co-sponsor this bill today?
Here’s an easy script to use – it takes just about 30 seconds! Simply dial the number above for your Representative’s DC office and share a message like this one with the person who answers the phone:
Hello, my name is [your name] and I am a constituent and a voter in [your city]. (And tell ‘em if you’re a farmer!) We need the next farm bill to be a farm bill for the future – I am asking [your Representative’s name] to please show your support for the next generation of farmers in our region by co-sponsoring The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act (H.R. 4316) today! Thank you for your time.
Call today – now is the time! Your voice will make a difference! Thanks for all you do to support beginning farmer programs.
Learn more about farm policy and agricultural politics from beginningfarmers.org at http://www.beginningfarmers.org/farm-policy-agricultural-politics/