Many of you know that I go to a farm each Saturday morning (actually, this coming Saturday is the last visit to the farm until next season) to get my produce. The food that I get from the farm is literally “farm fresh” and organically grown. It tastes delicious – much better than the produce that you find in the stores.
I’ve signed up to be on Food Democracy Now’s e-mail list so I can help advocate for better food policies for all of us. The latest advocacy effort is asking Agriculture Secretary to help organic farmers get more land to grow their crops. Below is an e-mail I received from Food Democracy Now – give it a read.
It’s time to end the bureaucratic squabbling at the USDA and put beginning and minority farmers first.
What new and minority farmers need most is access to affordable land — unfortunately USDA officials are stalling a potential solution.
A new program created by sustainable agriculture advocates in the 2008 Farm Bill, called the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Transition Option, offers incentives to land owners enrolled in the CRP to sell or lease the land to beginning and minority farmers using sustainable or organic practices at the end of CRP contracts.
Currently, 4.3 million acres enrolled in CRP are about to leave the program and this land is badly needed by the next generation of farmers to overcome the greatest obstacle to new farmers – affordable land.2
Unfortunately the USDA’s bureaucratic wrangling and fear of lawsuits is holding up implementation of this vital program. Rather than release the land as it should be under new Farm Bill rules, the USDA is holding it up with an unnecesary environmental impact study. Any further delay will deny beginning and minority farmers the opportunity to get access to the land they need in the next 2 years.3
Please join Food Democracy Now! by asking Secretary Vilsack to implement the Conservation Reserve Program Transition Option now.
Our beginning and minority farmers don’t have a moment to waste.
Interesting information, huh? If you’re interested in sending a quick, online message to the Secretary, click here. If you believe that quality food provides a large benefit to our society, then I encourage you to send the Secretary a message.