Tuesday, October 9, 2007

2007 Farm Bill: time for action

If like me you're interested in eating locally, seasonally -- more sustainably -- then the time to act is now. I know someone is always telling you to call this or that representative, but this time we in Ohio have real power, because for the first time in 40 years there's an Ohio Senator on the Agriculture Committee. The Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has issued two action alerts on this issue in the past two weeks; if you're ever going to act, act now.

Please call the office of US Senator Sherrod Brown at (202) 224-2315. Ask to speak with Joe Shultz, Senator Brown's legislative aide for agriculture. Talk to him or leave a voice mail (including your name and phone number.)

Be calm and polite. You can say a very few words about yourself (for instance, I'm going to tell Mr. Shultz that like many people I've been trying to eat more locally but it's not easy because of how few small independent farmers are left in my area of Ohio.) But keep it short and stay on message:

I am a constituent calling to ask Senator Brown to support increased funding in the new farm bill for conservation, rural development, beginning farmers, local food systems, agricultural research, and sustainable bioenergy programs.

I also want Senator Brown to support new funding for the Comprehensive Stewardship Incentives Program (CSIP), including the new and improved Conservation Security Program. We need an increased commitment to conservation on working lands and an expansion of the CSP program. Without this funding, the 2007 Farm Bill can't succeed.

Call today. If you're interested in sustainability, this is important.

If you're just too shy to make a phone call, here's a page on Sen. Brown's website where you can fill out a form giving him your opinion on the issue.

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