Sunday, June 24, 2007

Time to write to congress - Farm Bill under review!

I just found out that the Farm Bill is being "marked up" (looked at, worked on, voted on) in the next couple of weeks in the House of Reps first and then Senate. PLEASE take 2 minutes to write your elected reps about this. It is SO important!! I've made a little list of why:

Who is affected by or has a stake in the Farm Bill?
United States farmers
Farm subsidies are only for 5 crops, none of which are fruits/veggies (corn, wheat, rice, soybeans, and cotton); 10% of farms (corporations, really, which have bought up multiple family farms and can produce at vastly higher yields) receive over 70% of the subsidies; 2/3 of US farmers do not receive any subsidies at all; if a farmer plants a non-top-5 crop he loses ALL subsidies; the overproduction of these crops affects the land, our health and the world...
Subsistence farmers around the world
Our subsidized crops, already ruled illegal by a number of international courts, drive down international prices so that farmers cannot compete in their own markets.
Recipients of food stamps and school lunches
Both are covered by this bill; 35 million Americans cannot feed their families without the stamps, which amount to $1/meal/person ($21/week - can you eat on that?).
Anyone who pays health insurance premiums
Raised by the growing number of diabetics and obese people, a problem created and exacerbated by processed, non-diversified diet and non-sugar sweeteners.
Anyone who pays taxes
Might as well decide how your money is spent - the health costs in Medicare alone are worth consideration.
Rural communities
The first and ongoing casualty of corporatizing farming.
People who care about the poor in our country and around the world
People concerned about immigration problems
For instance, the lack of farming income in Mexico drives people north; people cannot afford to make tortillas any longer and are eating ramen. Bye bye, culture.
People who wish to eat more heathily, or locally, or organically
People who wish to eat something other than processed food now & then, and maybe something not sweetened with corn syrup
(which the body recognizes as alcohol not sugar)
Like happy cows? Feedlots would not exist without the corn glut (not to mention meat would taste better and be more sustainable).
The earth and its resources
land, water, petroleum, global warming, diversification of crops, wetland restoration, alternative fuels, etc. etc.

Got a pet cause? It's probably affected by the farm bill!

Write Congress today! The crucial time is by July 4!! After this, it's another 5 years before the Bill is reviewed again!

Here is a simple, 2-minute sample letter:

And you can look up your congresspersons' info here: (enter zip code in left side search box)
This site gives you all your elected reps, state and federal.

Note that we are shooting for handwritten letters, not emails, because they have far greater impact. Write to the DISTRICT office, not to Washington, so it arrives in time (DC mail is held a month for security). Write to House of Representatives AND Senators. The most important thing to ask for is a reduction in subsidies in favor of more conservation and stronger nutrition programs. Lots more info, and a nifty movie, can be found at

Thanks for your consideration. This is so important!!

1 comment:

Calvin Jones said...

Cool, a politically active person.

I`m just following the blogs, you know clicking the next blog button at the top of blogspot blogs...never done that before some interesting stuff.

Anyway, good work, peace.