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From the very beginning… From Rally to Press Conferences
My journey began on August, 29th when arriving from Panama. I step off at the National Reagan Airport with the promise that I will have one of the best experiences I will have in life. And so the first days were for orientation and adjusting at The Washington Center for Internship and Academic Seminars. But the real history began on September 4th at Rural Coalition (RC).
When I first came here, I had the idea of doing agroforestry mainly because of the need for conservation in our agricultural lands (my background is in Plant Biology). After almost 2 months of working with RC and its people, I realized that the main focus should be people. Farmworkers do have struggles here, as do folks in my country.
By the time I arrived DC, RC was supporting farmers, ranchers, minorities and all US people to convince Congress to pass the Farm Bill. One of my first hands-on experiences was on September 12th Rally where farmers, ranchers, leaders in agriculture, renewable energy, soil and water conservation and members of Congress push the rest of the Congress to pass the Farm Bill.
The next day, September 13th, Rural Coalition, known as one of the organizations that strongly support the Farm Bill, along with the National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Associaion (NLFRTA), Color of Change and the National Family Farm Coalition organized a Press Conference on SNAP and the 2501 Program and presented a petition signed by more than 33,000 persons. This petition was a call to action to the rest of the community to push the Congress to pass the Farm Bill.
*If you want to listen to the conference, please click here
After the press conference, we went to the Capitol to give some Congress member the petitions signed by those who realized how important the Farm Bill is.
When you hear about the Farm Bill, do not think that this is only important for farmers; the Farm Bill is important to everyone in this country and even beyond. It refers to social justice, to legal treatment, to the food coupons for the needed, to conservation to nutrition. It is related to food, one of the oldest rights that we have. And as there is a saying: "You may need a Lawyer once in your life; a doctor, once a year, but a Farmer, you need three times a day."