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Support Gillibrand Amendment (#4) to Provide Farmers Locally Adapted Seeds

If you live in one of the states represented by members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, call your senator TODAY and ask him/her to support Senator Gillibrand’s Senate Farm Bill amendment that provides farmers locally adapted seeds. (If you live in New York, call Senator Gillibrand to thank her!)

Farmer access to locally adapted seeds is paramount to fostering the competitiveness of agriculture in all regions of the country. Farmers need access to seeds that are bred specifically for their regions and cropping systems, allowing them to grow crops well suited to their local soil, climate, and pest conditions. But agricultural research trends have shifted toward the national production of seeds for a few major crops, greatly limiting farmers’ seed choice and narrowing the diversity of our agricultural system.

To address this problem, the 2008 Farm Bill required USDA to make conventional plant and animal breeding a priority for funding within the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). But in the AFRI grant-making process, USDA has imposed hurdles that have prevented the agency from meeting this Congressional mandate.

The Gillibrand amendment would reinforce and build on the mandate from the 2008 Farm Bill by requiring that 5% of annual funding for the AFRI program be used for making sure that farmers have access to locally adapted seeds and breeds by focusing on public cultivar and breed development, and removing the hurdles that have hindered USDA’s progress toward this goal.

CBO has given the Gillibrand amendment a zero score.

U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee
To Call Any Senator:  (202) 224-3121

Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chair
202-824-4822

Pat Roberts (R-KS), Ranking Member
202-224-4774

John Boozman (R-AR)
202-224-4843

Michael Bennet (D-CO)
202-224-5852

Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
202-224-3521

Tom Harkin (D-IA)
202-224-3254

Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
202-224-3744

Richard Lugar (R-IN)
202-224-4814

Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
202-224-2043

Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
202-224-3244

Thad Cochran (R-MS)
202-224-5054

Max Baucus (D-MT)
202-224-2651

Kent Conrad (D-ND)
202-224-2043

John Hoeven (R-ND)
202-224-2551

Ben Nelson (D-NE)
202-224-6551

Mike Johanns (R-NE)
202-224-5323

Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
202-224-4451

Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
202-224-2315

Robert Casey (D-PA)
202-224-6324

John Thune (R-SD)
202-224-2321

Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
202-224-4242

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