Calling your Representative is one of the most effective ways to make change in Washington and it only takes a few moments. If you can, pick up the phone right now.
Make a call in four easy steps:
1) Find your Representative in Congress by visiting: www.house.gov/representatives/find.
2) Click on his/her website and find his/her D.C. office phone number at the bottom of the page.
3) Simply dial the number and tell the person who answers that you'd like to share a personal message for your legislator, such as:
"Hello, my name is _______. I'm a constituent from _______ [and tell them if you're a farmer]. I'm calling to ask Representative ______ to help get a Farm Bill finished this year, and replenish funding for the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program, the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, and other programs that address conservation and encourage sustainable agriculture. Thank you!
Or, alternatively, you could say:
"Hello, my name is _______. I'm a constituent from _______[ and tell them if you're a farmer]. I'm calling to ask Representative ______ to help pass a Farm Bill with real reforms that level the playing field for the small family farmer. Congress should cap farm and crop insurance subsidies, eliminate wasteful direct payments and close loopholes that benefit the wealthiest agribusinesses. Thank you!"
Every five years, Congress takes on the task of reauthorizes the Farm Bill, which establishes U.S. food and farm policy. This year, Congress failed to get the job done, and on October 1, the Farm Bill expired. Since that date, Congress has been on recess.
On November 13, Congress returned to Washington for a very busy "lame duck" session. They now have the opportunity to amend and pass a 2012 Farm Bill. If Congress fails to take action before the new Congress enters office in January, then it will be back to square one in both the House and Senate.
While commodity and nutrition programs are funded through other pieces of legislation, most programs that benefit and promote sustainable agriculture have no other funding outside of the Farm Bill. As a result, the Farm Bill expiration effectively halted new enrollment for programs that help to drive innovation, support the next generation of farmers, conserve our natural resources, and invest in local economic development.
Make a phone call to your Representatives in Congress today to help renew fuding for these programs!
OEFFA’s Farm Bill webpage
OEFFA's Lame Duck Session Press Release
OEFFA factsheet: "Farm Policy Matters: Passing a Sustainable Farm Bill"
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) Blog
NSAC 2012 Farm Bill factsheet: Protecting Our Base, Shaping Our Future
NSAC 2012 Farm Bill factsheet: Working Lands Conservation Programs: Responding to Drought and Weather Extremes
NSAC 2012 Farm Bill factsheet: Down Payment on Agricultural Reform