Thursday, June 21, 2012

Farm Bill Victories So Far!

Good morning everyone!

In case you haven't heard, the Senate has been working away on the 2012 Farm Bill and its some 300 amendments over the past several days. So far, the voting has been a succession of victories for those who are interested in a better food system that honors local and regional food systems, small scale, beginning, and organic farmers, and the value of direct-to-consumer marketing avenues. You can read the latest updates on the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition website, here (day one of voting), here (day two of voting), and here (live updates!).

Even better news is that our Oregon Senators have been hard at work pushing valuable legislation to successful votes! Senator Merkley spearheaded the move to make crop insurance programs work better for Organic farmers. Previously, crop insurance pay outs were dispensed based on commodity prices, meaning that Organic farmers, with their diverse crops and high market values, did not receive fair compensation in the aftermath of farm disasters. Bravo, Senator Merkley! And second, Senator Wyden successfully passed his amendment to establish a pilot program for Farm-to-School purchasing of unprocessed and minimally processed foods. Another great victory!

This is such an exciting year for the Farm Bill! Even if you are normally bored by legislative happenings, I hope that you will take a moment to read the updates linked to above, and perhaps give our Senators a call to say "Thank you for supporting Good Food!"

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