Did you know that 80 percent of U.S. consumers would prefer to support sustainable farming? But their tax dollars actually work against the small farms that are more likely to use such techniques? So says Steven L. Hopp, in a sidebar in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.
Why the incongruence?
It’s due to the Farm Bill, which subsidizes based on volume and crop type…which means that three-quarters of subsidies go to 10 percent of growers (the industrial-scale ones), effectively supporting soy and corn crops and making it hard for small farms to stay viable (including farms in poor countries across the globe...believe it or not, our policies influence "plenty or want" for vulnerable people beyond our borders).
To learn more, we can go to farmaid.org
Or, like the Christian organization Bread for the World is currently requesting, we can call our representatives and senators BY JULY 17, to have a say in how the new Farm Bill is settled.
What to say when we get our senator’s staff on the line? Something like…
- reform commodity policies that hurt small farmers in the U.S. and abroad
- invest in rural development
I figured it was worth bringing this up, since 80 percent of you might believe that sustainable farming is critical. And maybe 67.3 percent of you (that’s my hopeful number) might call your representative and senators today.
(Help me out, Lynet. How many people would that be?)
How to Find Your Senators and Representatives
To call about the Farm Bill, dial 1-800-826-3688. Connects you to Capitol switchboard. Ask for your representative's office to leave a message with his/her staff. Call your senators too.
OR, write a letter on-line to your local newspaper through the One Campaign: Make Poverty History. The site will send your letter (they provide a sample you can use) to any paper you click on (your local papers can be found by inserting your zip code).
Bread photo by L.L. Barkat.
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