Friday, April 8, 2011

Fair Farm Bill

As the news of the impending US government shutdown looms, it seems that all future bills involving government spending will be in danger of some terrible political lashing no matter what's at stake. One such bill that comes to mind for me is the Farm Bill that is to be passed in 2012.

I am terrified that political pundits will use the Farm Bill as a place to compromise for the sake of a more fluid budget agreement rather than truly fight for what we, as a country, need to ensure a healthier and safer way of life. The Farm Bill is a wide-sweeping bill that deals with agriculture spending and all that is under the watch of the USDA.

This is the bill that decides who and what companies get government subsides for their crops. This is the bill that keeps huge agri-business alive and could do more to support smaller farms and farmers. There is so much going on in this bill that it is quite dense and easy to get lost within all that it covers. I am no expert on this bill, I just know that this is where the funding comes from and I would like to see the right people get the appropriate amount(s) of funding in order for them to survive the industry and prosper.

 In short, I would like this Farm Bill to be FAIR.

To that end, I received an e-mail today from Food and Water Watch. They have announced "Sowing the Seeds of a Fair Farm Bill" Events and National Day of Action. Here's what they have to say:
This spring, dozens of Food & Water Watch activists will be hosting events in their community to educate people about our food system, celebrate good food, and empower citizens to take action to support better food policies. Join us in your community!

Our current food system is not working for most Americans. Supermarket aisles offer few good food options for our families, while corporate agribusiness giants push unhealthy processed foods that generate huge profits. At the same time, small and medium-sized farmers across the U.S. are being told to either get big or get out. American food policy — dictated by the U.S. farm bill — favors just a handful of huge companies and their unsustainable methods at the expense of family farmers, consumers and communities.
There are events planned all over the country starting as early as today. There is also a link to create a new event! If you are knowledgeable about the Farm Bill, or at least taking some steps to be cognizant about food in America, perhaps you would like to create an event of your own for friends and families. The idea here is to RAISE AWARENESS about this bill, about our food industry and about what we, as citizens can do to ensure our voices are heard!

UPDATE: While catching up with my blog reading, I just found that the one and only Dr. Marion Nestle wrote a blog post about the Farm Bill as well today. It's a must-read: How to get involved: the Farm Bill

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