US Senator Pat Roberts (Kansas) plans to lead the Senate Agriculture Committee in marking up the 2018 Farm Bill in April.
We need everyone, no matter where you live, to remind Senator Roberts that a strong Farm Bill feeds us all.
Senator Roberts and other lawmakers must:
Here’s why these priorities matter to our community:
Nutrition programs put healthy food within reach of struggling Americans. SNAP (food stamps) infuses more than $1.6 billion in annual benefits into Kansas and Missouri economies. A Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives (FINI) grant has allowed Double Up Food Bucks to offer matching incentives in Kansas and Missouri, multiplying the impact of SNAP. Proposed cuts and changes to SNAP would not only mean more hungry Americans, they’ll harm farmers, grocers and the communities they serve- including our own.
Conservation programs help farmers steward the land, water and air. The Farm Bill is the single largest source of federal conservation funding, yet funding for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and other programs that help farmers adopt new conservation practices routinely fall short of demand. EQIP has helped many farmers in our region acquire season extension equipment so that they can meet growing demand for fresh local food year round.
Farming is hard work, but research, loan and technical assistance programs can help a new generation of farmers get started as baby boomers retire. The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP), Extension programs, loans, and publicly funded research into sustainable and organic agriculture are needed so that Kansas and Missouri growers can overcome complex and mounting challenges and continue to the food we need.
Food connects communities; so should policy. Farmers markets and other regional outlets for local foods help farmers and ranchers meet growing demand while fueling economic growth. A recent report from the Federal Reserve indicates that sales of local food generated greater economic activity than conventional sales. Value Added Producer (VAP) Grants, like the one that helped farmers establish a food hub serving our region, and Farmers Market & Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) are helping farmers across the country connect with consumers so we all can thrive. These and other programs need reliable funding in the 2018 Farm Bill.
Here are 5 ways you can help:
1. Sign this letter to Senator Roberts asking him to champion these Farm Bill issues and share a note with him about why they matter to you.
2. Share on social media and tag @PatRoberts and share your #2018farmbill priorities. Here are some sample posts:A strong #2018FarmBill feeds us all. #ProtectSNAP #FINI #EQIP #BFRDP
Help farmers safeguard food resources; #morefundingforEQIP in #2018FarmBill
I support local farms. So should #2018FarmBill. #BFRDP #VAPGrants #FMLFPP
Defending #SNAP = protecting $1.6 billion annual grocery sales in KS & MO. #2018FarmBill
3. Share this advocacy alert with your network! Whether it’s people you personally know or a membership list, spreading the word is vital.
4. If you live in Kansas, email the agriculture aides for your elected officials. Tell them you value local food and you want a farm bill that will put healthy food on the plates of struggling Americans and support local farms and economies.
Senator Pat Roberts:
Robert Rosado (Senate Ag Committee aide) – Robert_Rosado@ag.senate.gov
Will Stafford (office aide) – Will_Stafford@roberts.senate.gov
Senator Jerry Moran:
Judd Gardner – Judd.Gardner@moran.senate.gov
Representative Roger Marshall:
Dalton Henry – Dalton.Henry@mail.house.gov
William Wozniak – William.Wozniak@mail.house.gov
Kate Dixon – Kate.Dixon@mail.house.gov
Representative Lynn Jenkins:
Adam York – Adam.York@mail.house.gov
Representative Kevin Yoder:
Michael Brooks – Michael.Brooks@mail.house.gov
Representative Ron Estes:
Tanner Tempel – Tanner.Tempel@mail.house.gov
5. Make a donation.
No time to send an email, or post on Social Media? It’s quick and easy to donate $20 online. Your gift can help us expand the reach of advocacy alerts on social media and cover printing costs for written testimony, fact sheets and much more.
Thank you for taking the time to speak out for local farmers and local economy!