We are unbelievably proud and excited to stand with over 100 organizations in support of the Young Farmer Success Act, a bill that would help our nation’s young farmers manage their student loan debt and has finally gotten to the floor of congress. The legislation has been in the works for years now, due in large part to the National Young Farmers Coalition, and there’s no exaggerating how much it would support new farmers and dramatically increase access to both farming and farmland. Take action now to tell your member of Congress to co-sponsor HR 1060. (And be sure to send The National Young Farmers Coalition a thank you letter when it passes!)
We are only exaggerating a little when we say that these ideas are too big for google: originally a GoogleDoc, Indivisable was so popular that the traffic overloaded GoogleDocs and has been moved to its own website. The 24-page document was written by former congressional staffers and uses Tea Party strategies as a model for grassroots resistance of Trump initiatives in congress. The basic idea is that, though progressives may not agree with the Tea Party’s values, their basic strategy successfully dead-ended most of the major legislative projects of the Obama administration– and these tactics can be adapted for use in the name of “inclusion, tolerance, and fairness.”
While we abhor the idea that this kind of stalemate partisan politics will continue to be business as usual in congress, we have to admit that the authors are clearly well-educated, thoughtful, and careful in their approach. At the very least, this guide is easy to read, informative, and provides an excellent refresher course in American civics. At the very best, it offers those of us who care about continuing to make our society more inclusive, most just, and more peaceful a hand up out of feelings of powerlessness. As such, this is considered required Greenhorns reading.
Last week the Rodale Institute announced that it was launching the Organic Farmers’ Association, headed up by Elizabeth Kucinich, Board Policy Chair for Rodale Institute.
From the regional organic farmer associations to the Organic Trade Association to NYFC to your humble Greenhorns here, there sure are a lot of associations composed of or supposedly representing farmers. So maybe you’re asking, do we really need another one?
Well, first thing to consider here is that there is actually no national organization that represents only organic farmers. The second thing to consider might be the recent failures to pass adequate GMO labeling legislation in congress. We’re wondering if the entry of another national player might change the field of agricultural policy. Does this mark a shift in the organic/sustainable ag movement in which organic farmers more seriously set their sights on federal policy?
Use the comments section to weight in! And maybe consider joining.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to bring organic farmers’ voices and their experience with agriculture to policymakers in Washington, D.C.,” said Kucinich. “Policymakers have not yet grasped the significance of organic agriculture for resilient, reliable, non-toxic food production, and its ability to mitigate climate change while restoring our nation’s soil health. We have an opportunity to benefit organic farmers, while positively impacting our nation’s health and mitigating our climate crisis.”
The following message is from our friends at the Cornucopia Institute and references the recent GMO labeling law, so called the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, which purports to mandate GMO labeling while, in reality, does not give the FDA the ability to enforce the act, allows companies to opt for labeling practices that are not –er– exactly labeling, and (perhaps most dangerously) takes the right away from states such as Vermont to enact their own GMO labeling laws.
“President Obama has yet to sign the toothless GMO food labeling bill passed by Congress. If you already called the President, or signed one of the “unofficial” petitions, urging him to veto the bill you still have one more chance to influence him. Please sign the official We the People petitionto the White House today urging President Obama to veto this bill.”
Op-Ed: Is farming a public service?
By LIZ CARLISLE (published in the LA Times July 9, 2015)
A bill recently introduced in Congress, the Young Farmer Success Act, would make farmers eligible for federally subsidized student loan forgiveness — just as teachers and nurses are now — on the grounds that agriculture is a public service. But is it? (more…)
Episode #8 – Judith McGeary and The Texas Legislative Process
Join TXYFC, as we dive into the Texas legislative process with Judith McGeary, director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA). Judith has been working for years to create and pass legislation that helps promote and support small farms in Texas and beyond. On Episode #8, Judith walks us through, step by step, how the Texas Cottage Law – House Bill 970, put forth by FARFA – was passed into law. From conception of the bill in the farming community, to finding a legislative sponsor, to passing through various committees at the Texas capital, to finally becoming law. It’s a fascinating process, filled with priceless tips on how to make the legislative process work for small farms. Take a listen, and get learned!
Music on this episode: Eric Lau, Dirty Art Club, Lushlife, an Death in Vegas
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