Congress Must Reform the Farm Bill
You may have already heard about the very important Farm Bill which (among other things) gives millions in subsides to very large farmers in the US and very little to the struggling small farmers. What's more, the large subsidies are an incentive for over production, which is then dumped on the international market at prices poor farmers around the globe are unable to match, throwing millions of already poor families into desperate hunger.
By July 17, please dial toll-free —which will connect you to the Capitol switchboard—and ask to be connected to your representative's office in order to leave your message. Call back and do the same for your senators.
- Tell them the status quo on farm policy is not good enough.
- Urge them to ensure that the farm bill that comes to the House and Senate floors includes:
o Reform of commodity policies that hurt
o Increased food stamp benefits so that
o More investment in rural development, especially resources targeted to the
If your representative or senators are not on the Agriculture Committee (you can find out at www.bread.org), encourage them to talk with their colleagues on the Agriculture Committee and House and Senate leadership to see that these changes are made.
- We have reached a critical point in this year's Offering of Letters. The House and Senate Agriculture Committees intend to take up the farm bill in July. Our responses will need to come quickly as the bill takes shape in the committee, moves to the House floor and begins to move in the Senate.
- Every member of the House and Senate has a stake in the farm bill—not just members of the Agriculture Committee. But so far, the House committee has signaled its reluctance to reform the farm bill. (The Agriculture Chair in the Senate plans to take up the bill in July.)
- We know that reform is crucial to struggling farmers and rural families in the
, and to hungry people here and around the world. Your congressional representatives need to hear from constituents that improving this bill is critical. United States
- In particular, the commodities section of the farm bill should correct our current payments structure, which concentrates payments in the hands of relatively few, relatively affluent people. Some who receive large payments do not actually farm. The farm bill should also change policies that distort trade, because they make it more difficult for farmers in poor countries to sell their crops and feed their families.
- Pushing for change in the farm bill is one of Bread for the World's most ambitious and challenging—and most important—campaigns. Progress has been very encouraging: there have already been many promising conversations with members of Congress. Editorials in major media have called for reform. You have moved the debate this far —now let's ensure that Congress passes the reforms we are seeking.
Want To Do More?
- Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. For help, contact Shawnda Hines, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ask five of your friends to call their members of Congress.
- If you would like to receive email updates, go to www.bread.org and click on “newsletter signup.” There you can join a Quickline (to be notified by email when there is an urgent legislative action involving your member of Congress) and register for Fresh Bread (our biweekly email update on what’s happening in
with hunger issues.) Washington
- Visit www.bread.org to learn about other ways to help reform the farm bill, or contact your Bread for the World regional organizer.