America's family farmers and ranchers — whether selling fresh tomatoes at the city farmers markets or enlivening rural economies with jobs — are the bedrock of many communities that members of Congress call home.
The Farm Bill presents a tremendous opportunity to revive programs that help keep farmers on the land, ensuring communities remain strong and healthy. At the end of the day, it's not farmland without farmers.
The Farm Bill includes programs that promote farmers markets, support local foods and help beginning farmers. But bitter politics and budget cutting posturing overtook the Farm Bill process and now many of these programs are currently without authorization or funding, leaving stranded farmers and communities that rely on them.
Time is short. Tell Congress to pass a new Farm Bill and protect America's farmers and ranchers.
A top priority when you and your Congressional colleagues return from the August recess must be finishing a comprehensive Farm Bill.
America's farm and ranch land is a vital resource that is very important to me, my family and my community. Our farm and ranch land provides food security for our nation while also maintaining open space, clean water and wildlife habitat. These benefits come as a result of important Farm Bill conservation programs. We need you to finish a comprehensive five-year Farm Bill and continue these benefits now and into the future.
We also need a sound safety net that protects farms and natural resources. Relinking conservation compliance with crop insurance premium assistance is absolutely necessary in the Farm Bill. The bipartisan Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013 (S. 954) passed by the U.S. Senate includes this important measure, which protects against soil erosion, preserves important wetlands and protects taxpayers' investments in sound agricultural and conservation policy.
We need a full, comprehensive, five-year Farm Bill that:
- holds the line on funding for farmland conservation and working lands conservation programs;
- maximizes conservation program delivery and enhances program effectiveness;
- reinvests in programs that promote local food and farmers markets, and that help beginning farmers and ranchers;
- provides significant reform by relinking conservation compliance to crop insurance premium subsidies in a workable manner, while opposing limits to crop insurance.
[Your comments here]
I urge you to swiftly consider and pass a comprehensive five-year Farm Bill that provides for sound farmland conservation for many years to come.
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