divided farm field from above

Blog | September 9, 2018

Take Action: Our last chance to shape the Farm Bill!

At a time when the farm economy is enduring a historic downturn, with plummeting farm incomes that put family farms at risk of going out of business, Congress is finalizing the 2018 Farm Bill. They’ll make critical decisions that will impact family farmers, rural communities, healthy food access and our soil and water for years to come.

The conference committee, made up of senators and representatives, is working to complete a final package in the next two weeks, before the current farm bill expires on September 30. The committee will be busy meeting and hearing from Congressional colleagues who do not sit on the committee for further input.

That means this is your last chance to give input too! We must we urge all members of Congress to pass a Farm Bill that:

  • Invests in diverse farming systems by permanently funding programs that connect farmers and eaters, support beginning farmers and farmers of color, underwrite organic and sustainable agriculture research, and provide healthy food incentives for families
  • Protects our soil and water by saving the Conservation Stewardship Program and improving all federal conservation programs
  • Invests in rural development and re-establishes the post of Undersecretary for Rural Development
  • Supports farmers in crisis by fully funding the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, ensuring strong credit and risk management programs, and by targeting federal payments to family farmers – not Wall Street – through payment limits and strong eligibility rules
  • Ensures food access and dignity for rural and urban families, seniors and disabled Americans in need by protecting the SNAP program from cuts

Click here to take action with Farm Aid today to secure a Better Farm Bill.


Call the Conference Committee

While it is critical that we reach all members of Congress, if your Senator or Representative is on the Farm Bill Conference Committee, it’s even more important that you call them today. Check the list below to see if your Senator or Representative is on the conference committee. If they are, give them a call today!

  • Call the Capitol Switchboard:
    • Senate Line: 202-224-3121
    • House Line: 202-225-3121
  • When you are connected to the office, ask to speak to the person in charge of the farm bill or agriculture policy.
  • Here’s a sample script:

My name is ________ and I live in (Town/City). As the Farm Bill Conference Committee crafts the final version of the 2018 Farm Bill, I urge you to ensure that the bill:

1) Invests in diverse farming systems by permanently funding the Local Agriculture Marketing Program (LAMP), Farming Opportunities Training and Outreach Program, Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative and Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives Program

2) Protects our soil and water by protecting the Conservation Stewardship Program and improving all federal conservation programs

3) Invests in rural development and re-establishes the post of Undersecretary for Rural Development;

4) Supports farmers in crisis by:

  • Authorizing and fully funding the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network
  • Supporting the Senate Bill’s improvements in credit and dairy policy, including equitable relief in credit (Section 5304), emergency loan eligibility (Section 5306), Milk Donation Program funded at $20 million annually (Section 1413), Farming Opportunities for Historically Underserved Producers (Section 12301), and heirs property rights (Sections 12623-12625).
  • Targeting federal program payments to family farmers – not Wall Street – through common-sense payment limits and strong eligibility rules for farm subsidies.

5) Ensures food access and dignity for rural and urban families, seniors and disabled American in need by protecting the SNAP program from cuts as directed in the Senate farm bill.

Thank you for your time.

Senate Conferees

Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Sen John Boozman (R-AR)
Sen John Hoeven (R-ND)
Sen Joni Ernst (R-IA)
Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Sen Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Sen Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Sen Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)

House Conferees

Agriculture Committee
Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX)
Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA)
Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
Frank Lucas (R-OK)
Mike Rogers (R-AL)
Austin Scott (R-GA)
Rick Crawford (R-AR)
Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
Rodney Davis (R-IL)
Ted Yoho (R-FL)
David Rouzer (R-NC)
Roger Marshall (R-KS)
Jodey Arrington (R-TX)
Collin Peterson (D-MN)
David Scott (D-GA)
Jim Costa (D-CA)
Tim Walz (D-MN.)
Marcia Fudge (D-OH)
Jim McGovern (D-MA)
Filemon Vela (D-TX)
Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM)
Ann Kuster (D-NH)
Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ)

Education and Workforce Committee
Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
Rick Allen (R-GA)
Alma Adams (D-NC)

Energy and Commerce Committee
John Shimkus (R-IL)
Kevin Cramer (R-ND)
Paul Tonko (D-NY)

Financial Services Committee
Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
Sean Duffy (R-WI)
Maxine Waters (D-CA)

Foreign Affairs Committee
Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA)
Steve Chabot (R-OH)
Eliot Engel (D-NY)

Oversight and Government Reform Committee
Mark Walker (R-NC)
James Comer (R-KY)
Stacey Plaskett (D-V.I.)

Natural Resources Committee
Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT)
Bruce Westerman (R-AR)
Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)

Science, Space and Technology Committee
Ralph Abraham (R-LA)
Neal Dunn (R-FL)
Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)

Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
Jeff Denham (R-CA)
Bob Gibbs (R-OH)
Cheri Bustos (D-Ill)

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