How the 2007 Farm Bill could make future farms smaller, healthier, and green
1. Conservation Security
Many conservation programs take land out of production; this one offers financial support to farmers who cultivate their fields in an environmentally sustainable manner.
2. Rural development
Too many farmers in atrophied rural communities rely on outside jobs. Programs in the Farm Bill could help them add small-scale, sustainable businesses to their spreads.
3. Rural energy
Farms consume a lot of energy. Alternative energy initiatives can save farmers money while they save the environment.
4. Urban-rural connections
More and more of us are working directly with those who grow our food. The Farm Bill can promote programs that connect us.
5. Conservation Reserve Program
An old favorite, the CRP invests in the quality of our waterways by paying farmers to create healthy wetlands.
6. Sustainable farming research
What if biodiversity got the same research budget as genetic engineering?
7. Antitrust laws
A tiny handful of businesses control the lion's share of the meat industry. It's time to make the system work for the farmers, not the suits.
8. Country of Origin Labeling
Is your food really local? Right now, you can't tell. Pressure is on to add labels that say exactly where that cow lived and died.
9. Environmental Quality Incentives
Manure is a major source of environmental contamination. Programs in the Farm Bill help farmers clean it up without causing a major stink.
These groups will be active in lobbying for environmental and sustainable-farming issues in the 2007 Farm Bill.
Center for Rural Affairs
Community Food Security Coalition
Environmental Working Group
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Land Stewardship Project
National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture
National Catholic Rural Life Conference
The Rural Advancement Foundation International
Western Organization of Resource Councils
Call your representatives
Tell these key legislators that you support a sustainable Farm Bill.
Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) (chair)
Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) (ranking member)
House Agriculture Committee
Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) (chair)
Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) (ranking member)