Letter: Word from Capitol Hill
Affecting nearly every calorie of food grown and eaten in America, the farm bill is our government’s way of choosing what type of food system we have. Unfortunately, the farm bill draft recently introduced in the U.S. House makes clear that small-scale farmers like the ones in our valley, and us, the local consumers, are not a priority. So far, there is $0 put towards small-scale, organic farmers.
Missing from the $867 billion bill are a number of programs that are relatively tiny in size, but that have a huge impact in growing our local food economy and creating economic opportunity.
Funding for programs that promote local farmers markets, make organic certification available to more farmers, and develop value-added products are all completely eliminated.
We have many young farmers in our valley working tirelessly to grow a quality, organic product. The success of their business relies on the support of our community. We have small-scale, farm lobbyists working to change this system in D.C. They need our help urgently. I hope that readers who enjoy local food will step up and tell congress to fund local food programs in the farm bill.
Natalie Rae Fuller