Forty-one House and Senate lawmakers will convene tomorrow to hash out differences between their two versions of the Farm Bill. To see if your state is represented by the committee, review the list in this article. Even if your lawmakers are not on this committee, they need to hear from you. Ask them to contact their conference committee colleagues today.
Here’s why: It is very important to the organic sector that we have a full five-year Farm Bill. The most recent short-term extension (passed in January 2013) left out several critical programs, including the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiatives (OREI). Currently OREI and other organic priorities are included in both the House and Senate bills, but if the conference committee doesn’t reach an agreement on a final five-year Farm Bill, we risk losing organic priorities through another extension. Last week we shared a blog post from our friends at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition about what’s at stake if this happens again.
To contact your members of Congress, call (202) 224-3121. You will be connected to an operator who will ask for your zip code and connect you to the appropriate office(s). You can also use the Organic Trade Association’s handy email tool that will create suggested talking points based on whether your members of Congress are on the conference committee.
The message is simple: Please ensure a five-year Farm Bill is passed this year and that it includes organic agriculture priorities.
We need a five-year Farm Bill, and we need it soon. Remind Congress with your phone call today.