H.R. 1, the Full Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, is a bill that is currently being considered by Congress. It unfairly targets programs that serve sustainable and organic farmers. It makes further cuts in agricultural research, extension, and farm credit. It makes deep cuts to funding provided in the 2008 Farm Bill for conservation and would terminate programs that serve beginning and minority farmers without making any cuts to commodity or crop insurance funding.
If this bill passes, here are some of the potential consequences:
- Farmers would have a hard time finding support if they wanted to stop using chemical fertilizers and instead enrich their soil using cover crops, because theNational Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (ATTRA) and the Organic Transitions research program would be eliminated.
- Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack would fall short of his vision of getting 100,000 new farmers because the USDA Office of Advocacy and Outreach (which provides invalueable advice and services to beginning farmers) would be axed.
- More contaminated eggs would hit market shelves because the Food Safety and Inspection Servicewould have to put many inspectors on furloughs.
In case you missed this email the first time around, read about Erin (below), a volunteer Slow Food Leader who is helping to fight against these harmful agricultural budget cuts. Then,donate to send her and a local farmer to DC to discourage Congress from passing H.R. 1. »
Meet Erin. Erin first learned of the complex issues surrounding food and agriculture in high school, when she started working with her dad at his business, Butter Bakery Café, in Minneapolis.
As she worked with her dad to source product for the bakery, she wondered why it was more difficult and more expensive to source local and organic food. Erin began to see that public policy played a huge role in people’s access to real food.
Now a sophomore at Oberlin College in Ohio, Erin became a Slow Food on Campus leader because she wanted to gather other students who shared her passion to make a difference. She and the chapter raise awareness around food issues by leading cooking workshops, organizing food summits, hosting film screenings, and creating partnerships with local farmers.
Today, Erin is discouraging Congress from passing dangerous cuts to the agricultural budget. These cuts would destroy critical programs that make sustainable farming viable and give us all access to real, healthy food.
Help Erin convince Congress to save programs that support farmers in producing sustainable, delicious food. »
The best way to make an impact on such issues is to help the people who are most directly impacted meet with decision makers in person. Your donation will send Erin to DC along with a local farmer to give a real voice to real food. We need to raise $25,000 in the next 10 days to build a campaign that stops these cuts and continues to support the work that people like Erin are doing all over the country to raise awareness about food policy issues.
Donate today to fight the agricultural budget cuts and grow the work of volunteer Slow Food leaders like Erin. »
Associate Director of National Programs
Slow Food USA