10 Reasons to Make a Call for the 2013 Farm Bill

Guest post by Temra Costa

You care about farmers and ensuring future access to local, sustainable food, right?! So here’s your chance to make a difference. With just two calls, and perhaps a few clicks on online petitions, you can weigh in on how our tax dollars are going to be spent on our food system.

Right now, our senators are deliberating the 2013 Farm Bill—the single most important piece of legislation that can help create a more sustainable food future for our country. Will our tax dollars continue supporting Big Ag, subsidies, pollution, junk-food companies and other private interests? Or, will amendments be passed to cap subsidies, preserve conservation programs, label GMOs, save food-stamp funding, support public seed research and bolster local food systems? The answer is it’s up to us. So here’s what we’ve all got to do:

 Step 1: Select your talking points from the list below.

 Step 2: Call your senators. Click here or see below to find them.

 Step 3: Thank them for representing your interests!

Below you’ll find not just ten reasons to make the call, but ten amendments that our senators need to hear from us on. You can check out the recommendations of these organizations too: Live Real, Center for Food Safety, and the Organic Trade Association; but whatever you do, you’ve got to do something for a more sustainable and equitable food system for all!

Ten 2013 Farm Bill Talking Points

  1. Support Senator Boxer’s GE Labeling amendment that will require GMOs to be labeled.
  2. Support Senator Brown’s local food amendment that will support local food systems.
  3. Support SA 926 and the Coburn/Durbin amendment, which caps annual crop insurance payments and limits payments to those who are actually farming.
  4. Support the Leahy-Cowen-Collins amendment that supports organic farmers in protecting the environment.
  5. Support SA 969 to help make our meat safer by opening a USDA office that will ensure fair competition in the meat processing industry.
  6. Support Tester’s Seeds & Breeds amendment to provide research money for the development of publicly owned seeds and animal breeds. In addition, support Tester’s amendment that will require an annual report on the consolidation of our food and agriculture industries.
  7. Support Rockefeller’s amendment to protect farmers when they speak up about abusive industry practices.
  8. Oppose Coburn/McCain amendment to reduce Market Access Program funding—funding to help farmers transition to more direct markets.
  9. Support amendment #934 to ban the sale of GMO salmon until they are proven to pose no environmental risk.
  10. Support Senator Merkley’s amendment #978 to repeal the “Monsanto Protection Act.” This provision in the 2013 spending largely removes judicial oversight of GMOs.

In addition to these, you may want to consider voicing your support for Senator Boxer’s amendment #1027 to protect honey bees and native pollinators, which, according to the Center for Food Safety, have declined by over 45 percent since last winter due to pesticides and Big Ag.

Thank you for all that you do for our farmers and local food!

t.costaTemra Costa
Temra Costa is a nationally recognized sustainable food and farming advocate. Her book, Farmer Jane: Women Changing the Way We Eat is the product of the past decade she has spent working to promote a more vibrant local food economy in California and beyond.


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