Immigration and Family Separation at the Border: Concrete Actions

This week, Rural Coalition, the National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association and our members joined dozens of other organizations in opposing Speaker Paul Ryan’s bill, the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act. As the sign-on letter states, the act “guts our asylum laws, waives laws that protect communities within 100 miles of the borders and wastes $23 billion taxpayer dollars to build a wall and militarize border communities.”

We at the Rural Coalition affirm that this bill is not only unjust, but would inflict further damage upon the immigrant children and families it targets. We urge RC members to call their Representative to oppose this bill.

The House vote on this legislation will take place tomorrow, June 22. (The House Farm Bill is also up for for a vote this week, see our blog here on why to urge your Representative to oppose that bill, HR-2, as well)

Rural Coalition also condemns the President’s Executive Order to Detain Families Together; while separating children from their parents is inhumane, justice for immigrant families does not mean detaining full families together. This Executive Order is no more humane than the preexisting procedures. Families belong together and free.

What’s next? Green Latinos composed a comprehensive list of concrete actions you can take to oppose family separation at the border and demand full justice for immigrant communities, which we share here for your information and action.


CALL CONGRESS TODAY:

Weigh in with Members of Congress today!

Encourage your network/membership to urge their Members of Congress to use Congress’ oversight authority to stop separating families and to VOTE DOWN the two anti-immigrant bills moving through the House this week. The House is expected to vote on two anti-immigrant bills on Thursday, June 21st: one proposed by Rep. Goodlatte and another proposed by Speaker Ryan. Neither bill addresses the administration’s policy of separating families, and neither bill fixes the administration’s decision to end DACA.

1. Urge them to Vote NO on the two anti-immigrant bills: Please ramp up outreach to your Representative ASAP via calls, digital engagement, in-district meetings, and lobbying in DC to dissuade Republicans from voting for the both bills. It is especially important to defeat the Ryan bill and ensure no Democrat votes for it. Please pass these action recommendations on to members of your organizations ASAP and speak out publicly against the Ryan bill and Goodlatte bill.

(Breaking NEWS – The Goodlatte Bill failed on Thursday June 21 on a vote of 193-231 – see how your Representative Voted Here:)

2. In advance of the vote.

a. United We Dream’s call tool opposing both the Goodlatte bill and Ryan bill: 844-505-3769 directs calls to target House moderates; when folks call the line, they will hear a recording directing them on asks.

On family separation: The ACLU has a call tool specifically for Senators; the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has a call tool that directs calls, tweets, facebook posts, and emails to all Members of Congress.

a. Ask MoCs to urge the administration to end the policy of forcibly separating families, particularly by weighing in on social media.
b. Ask MoCs to also push for President Trump, DHS Secretary Nielsen, and Attorney General Sessions to end the practice of separating and jailing families via letters, appropriations requirements, and Congressional hearings.
c. Ask MoCs to cosponsor family separation legislation and take other actions listed in the Hill briefing document developed by the Immigration Hub and the Women’s Refugee Commission.

MASS MOBILIZATIONS:

• Thursday, 6/21: Faith mission to the Ursula processing center in TX, led by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Please email Jordyn Bussey at bussey@civilrights.org to join the delegation of rabbis, ministers, bishops, and other faith leaders who will be ministering to children and holding a vigil outside of Ursula.

• Keep Families Together Rally in Washington, DC outside of Department of Homeland Security from 4:30-6:30 p.m. ET (4401 Massachusetts Avenue NW). Moms and families are holding a rally EVERY FRIDAY until the separation of families at the border ends. Contact Tricia Duncan with questions: triduncan05@gmail.com, (202) 288-5498.

• Saturday, 6/23: Families Belong Together March in San Diego, CA, led by San Diego Indivisible. See additional details on Facebook.

• Sunday, 6/24: Mass Action in Tornillo, TX, led by Voto Latino. Visit www.stopseparation.org to sign up and learn more.

• Thursday, 6/24: Mass mobilization at the Brownsville Federal Court in TX, led by the ACLU. Join the #FamiliesBelongTogether rally in Linear Park at 11 a.m. RSVP here or on Facebook and contact Natalie Montelongo at nmontelongo@aclu.org with questions.

• Saturday, 6/30: Join the Families Belong Together march and rally led by MoveOn and others in Washington D.C. Similar actions actions will be planned across the country.

• Date TBD (Possibly 7/1) – Moms march from El Paso to Tornillo, TX, – Check back for more details and to join.


SPREAD THE WORD

Continue speaking out on social media to raise awareness about the administration’s cruel policy. Keep tweeting at @realDonaldTrump and @SecNielsen to stop forcibly separating families. We Belong Together’s demands for the Administration can be RT’d here. Ask the administration: what are its plans to reunify the families it has torn apart?

Thank you for all that you’re doing to keep families together and free!

Organizational Sign On Letter

Time to Defeat the House Farm Bill (Again)!

This blog post is the fifth in our series on how we can build a better Farm Bill.

UPDATE: The House is expected to reconsider the House Farm Bill (H.R. 2) on or before June 22. The House’s Bill is bad for children and low income families; bad for farmers and rural communities; and harms rather than protects the environment in a number of ways.

This is the same awful bill, and it is should not be the version that goes to conference with the much better though not perfect, bipartisan version of the bill that just passed out of the Senate Ag Committee. (The Senate Bill is expected to go to the Senate floor as soon as June 25).

The House is pressed to get moving as it has a deadline of June 22 to reconsider the bill they earlier defeated. The Agriculture Committees on both sides are anxious to complete action before the July 4 recess in order to allow time for the House-Senate conference necessary to produce a final bill before Congress recesses in late summer.

However, passing a bad House bill is not the solution to the timing crisis.

Need A Quick Reminder of Why the House Bill is Bad for People, Farmers, Equity?
In a prior blogpost, we highlighted some of the worst elements of the entirely partisan House Farm Bill, HR 2, that was defeated as the members of the House fought over how to pass immigration legislation, a fight that still continues with more floor votes also scheduled this week.

In short, HR 2 would deprive more than 2 million low income Americans participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) of food, thus contributing to large-scale poverty and hunger in communities across the U.S.

Among many other things that do harm rather than good, this Bill also slashes programs for conservation, and rural development; freezes or cuts equity programs for historically underserved and new entry farmers and ranchers; and includes riders that would gut federal rules to expand protection of clean water. (See our prior post for more information.)

What can I do today? Join nationwide call-in to defeat House Farm Bill

TODAY, Rural Coalition calls on you to continue work with our sustainable agriculture allies, and the networks of the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), Feeding America, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, + more to continue generating calls to your House members. Here is how:

Call in urge your representatives to “Vote No” on H.R. 2!

Call 1-888-398-8702 and enter your zip code to connect with your Representative. (This toll free number is sponsored by Feeding America.)

Urge your representative to “Vote No” on H.R. 2.

Briefly tell them why: “This is a bad bill for families as well as for family farmers. The farm bill should protect families, family farmers including historically underserved farmers, the environment and economic development for rural areas. This bill fails to do that.”

Check out FRAC’s recent action alert for talking points to on how protect and strengthen SNAP.

Tweet! Click here: House #FarmBill would increase hunger for millions of struggling people warns @fractweets: http://bit.ly/2qu62fs. @HouseFloor should Vote NO on H.R. 2!

What’s next? Time to Make a Better Farm Bill!
We’ll know more on Senate farm bill actions later this week. Stay tuned!

The Running List Good, Bad and Ugly Farm Bill Amendments- Act Now for Wednesday’s Senate Ag Markup

Quick Action Required Today to Support Tribal Food Sovereignty and Protect Small and POC Farmers’ Access to Credit

UPDATE: When the Senate Agriculture Committee convenes on Wed (SEE HERE TO WATCH)

This is a quick informational blog about four amendments that require quick action in the form of your input to the Senate Agriculture Committee today.

1. Is your Senator on the agriculture committee? Scroll down to the bottom [or click here] to see the complete list.

2. If these are your Senators, now is the time to call and urge them to support the Smith-Heitkamp amendment, support the Grassley amendment and to oppose both Hoven amendments. These are the positions endorsed by Rural Coalition and our allies:

Yes – Smith–Heitkamp 638 Amendment to support Tribal Food Sovereignty
Yes – on both Grassley Amendments to support Payment Limits and #2 on Loan guarantee reform
No – Against Hoeven Amendment Number 1
No – Hoeven Amendment Number 10 – Don’t Increase FSA Loan sizes and shut out small farmers

3. Need more information? Here are more detailed amendment descriptions:

SUPPORT THE SMITH HEITKAMP “638” AMENDMENT.
Senator Tina Smith (D-MN), a new member of the Agriculture Committee, along with Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) has filed The SMITH HEITKAMP “638” AMENDMENT, which would provide tribal authority over the operation of all federally funded supplemental nutrition assistance programs. Tribal “638” administration will help restore tribal food sovereignty, and provide better food assistance to more Indian households in need.

As the Native Farm Bill Coalition explains, “Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and tribal allies have always said tribal control over tribal food programs results in the maximum benefit. Tribal self-determination has proven to always be the most cost-effective approach. Because tribes are so experienced at administering very complex federal programs and services under the Indian Self-Determination Act authority, it makes sense to extend “638” authority to the operation of all federally funded supplemental nutrition assistance programs. Tribes have also asked that this authority be applied to all food-related job assistance and training funds that are tied to work or training requirements.”

The Bill is co-sponsored by Senators Udall (D-NM), Heitkamp (D-ND), Warren (D-MA), Baldwin (D-WI), Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Harris (D-CA).

OPPOSE BOTH OF THE HOEVEN AMENDMENTS
Senator Hoeven of South Dakota has submitted two bad amendments for committee markup on Wednesday that would double all direct loan limits, and increase guaranteed loan limits to $2.5M.
• Hoeven #1: Would raise the individual loan limit on guaranteed loans from $1.39 million to $2.5 million; also raises cap on direct loans from $300,000 to $600,000.
• Hoeven #10: raises the individual loan limit on guaranteed loans from $1.39 million to $1.75 million; also raises cap on direct loans from $300,000 to $600,000.
Rural Coalition agrees with a number of allies that increasing loan limits is detrimental to small farmers in the following ways:
• Guaranteed loans are often used to reduce the risk of investment in high cost specialized livestock operations under production contracts. While ownership loans can last as long as 15 – 20 years, the contracts can be changed or cut off at any time, with no guarantee of placements. Large guarantees transition the risk associated with these contracts from the bank to the taxpayer, and leave the producer trapped at the mercy of the company.
• In a budget-constrained environment, increased FSA loan limits will almost certainly result in fewer, but larger loans, reducing credit availability to the small and mid-scale farms, including many beginning and socially-disadvantaged farmers, for which the program is intended. There is no linkage between the increased loan limits and any increase in program appropriations.
• Even at the current loan limits, guaranteed lenders have failed to meet the statutory target participation rates for both beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers. Any increase in maximum loan amounts will create an economic advantage to more-established and larger operations and decrease the likelihood that guaranteed lenders will meet their statutory obligations.

And Urge them to Support – Both Grassley Amendments – See the Running List of Amendments Here

Once again, please contact members of the Senate Agriculture Committee and encourage them to vote for the Smith Heitkamp 638 amendment, for both Grassley Amendments, and against both Hoeven amendments on farm loan limits.

U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture


Pat Roberts (R-KS)
202-224-4774
LD: Amber Kirchhoefer

Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
202-224-2541
LD: Katelyn Conner

John Boozman (R-AK)
202-224-4843
LD: Mackensie Burt

John Hoeven (R-ND)
202-224-2551
LD: Dan Auger

Joni Ernst (R-IA)
202-224-3254
LD: Jena McNeill

Charles Grassley (R-IA)
202-224-3744
LD: James Rice

John Thune (R-SD)
202-224-2321
LD: Jessica McBride

Steve Daines (R-MT)
202-224-2651
LD: Darin Thacker

David Perdue (R-GA)
202-224-3521
LD: John Eunice

Deb Fischer (R-NE)
202-224-6551
LD: Emily Leviner

Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS)
202-224-5054
LD: Tim Wolverton

Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
202-224-4822
LD: Emily Carwell

Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
202-224-4242
LD: Erica Chabot

Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
202-224-2315
LD: Jeremy Hekhuis

Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
202-224-3244
LD: Anne Knapke

Michael Bennet (D-CO)
202-224-5852
LD: Brian Appel

Kristian Gillibrand (D-NY)
202-224-4451
LD: Brooke Jamison

Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
202-224-4814
LD: Katie Campbell

Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
202-224-2043
LD: Tracee Sutton

Robert Casey, Jr. (D-PA)
202-224-6324
LD: Derek Miller

Tina Smith (D-MN)
202-224-5641
LD: Gohar Sedighi

Senate Farm Bill Protects SNAP and Advances Historic Equity Program

Senate Farm Bill Protects SNAP and Advances Historic Equity Provisions

QUICK UPDATE: Last week, the US Senate released its draft of the Farm Bill, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, with a number of important distinctions from the version defeated in the House last month. All Final amendments to the Bill are expected to be submitted by the end of today, and mark up will begin on Wednesday Watch the mark up proceeding here.

We will respond to this swift-moving process with actions alerts so please continue to follow notices on the member list, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.

Did the Senate Create a Bi-Partisan Bill that Advances Equity?
Over the past several months, Rural Coalition, its members and allies have been working together and with the Senate Agriculture committee to ensure that the Senate’s version of the Farm Bill protects nutrition programs for the most vulnerable members of our society, and advances rather than reverses the hard-won, long-term gains for equity in agriculture, conservation, and credit programs.

RC’s press release coauthored today with National Family Farm Coalition commends Senators Roberts and Stabenow for “a farm bill package that, unlike its counterpart in the House of Representatives, takes a strong bipartisan stance on ensuring food access for all communities, by retaining funding and authority for the crucial Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.” The Bill also increases support for the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives program and related initiative to strengthen local food systems.

As the Senate Agriculture Committee proceeds to its mark-up and vote Wednesday to send its version of the 2018 Farm Bill to the Senate Floor.

We urge members of the committee to support and vote for the bill, which is the most viable option as a base bill for the 2018 Farm Bill. In addition to protecting and fully funding SNAP, this bill, if passed advances aspects of the legislative packages endorsed by Rural Coalition and more than 100 organizations in the recent Equity sign-on letter.

The current Senate Farm Bill makes several important equity improvements in these vital areas:

1) The historic Outreach to Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program is placed in a shared section of the bill with the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Program with permanent authorization and no expiration. The Senate bill provides mandatory (rather than discretionary) funding of $50 Million to be split equally between these two separately operated programs. It also improves these programs by providing authority for multi-year grants, and creating a new peer review requirement to improve the grant review process, and a requirement for annual public reports. The new Local Agricultural Market Program links several current programs, including the Rural Value Added program, providing permanent authority and funding. Organic agriculture programs also receive improved support.

2) The Senate bill is significant in that it also removes industrial hemp from the controlled substances list. It instead places industrial hemp under USDA to be regulated as a commodity, and allows both tribes and states to establish regulatory structures within their boundaries. Farmers who meet any requirements established at the tribal or state level would therefore no longer face legal penalties or lose USDA benefits if they engage in production of this new high-value crop. Research funding is expanded and a crop insurance program for industrial hemp is authorized.

In a tight budget climate, overall conservation funding is also protected and access to conservation programs for historically underserved producers is prioritized. However, funding cuts in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Conservation Easement Program are of concern.

We will continue to work to assure the 2018 farm bill reaches and supports everyone. We applaud Senator Roberts, Senator Stabenow and the full committee for drafting a 2018 farm bill that provides the strongest basis in the current climate to progress towards that goal, with notable progress on equity and access.

Up Next – Review of additional amendments for the Wednesday mark-up in the Senate Agriculture Committee and possible floor action as soon as Thursday.

See Good, Bad and Ugly Farm Bill Amendments – The Running List in Preparation for Wednesday MarkUp.
As we prepare for tomorrow’s early morning Farm Bill markup in the Senate, we will keep updating the list here.

Act Now to Ensure a Full, Fair Farm Bill

UPDATE:

As explained in our prior posts, the US House of Representatives failed to pass their truly partisan and unequal Farm Bill–due to deep disagreements on pending immigration legislation. As the debates on agriculture and immigration continue in the House, the Senate Farm Bill may become the leading version for a 2018 Farm Bill.

The Senate Agriculture Committee may release their draft of the Farm Bill any day. It is expected to be a better bill on SNAP, conservation, and equity issues than the House version.

Each Farm Bill represents our nation’s important investment or disinvestment in the future of our agriculture and food system. This means the Senate Ag Committee must create a bipartisan Farm Bill that funds a full range of agriculture, conservation, and rural programs, as well as protects nutrition programs to assist those who need them most.

The Senate Agriculture Committee may meet to consider and approve their Farm Bill as soon as June 13th. The Farm Bill could therefore arrive on the Senate floor for a vote as soon as June 14th.

Now is the time to express what we hope and need to see in the next farm bill. We call on all those who care about equity to act now to ensure a full, fair farm bill.

HERE’S WHAT WE ARE HOPING TO SEE IN THE SENATE’S FARM BILL
As the Senate Agriculture Committee continues consideration of its 2018 Farm Bill, Rural Coalition has gathered signatures from more than 100 organizations on a letter urging Senators to write a Farm Bill that builds equity, and protects and grows support for the conservation, rural development and nutrition programs that are essential to our communities, including full funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Support Equity and Access in the 2018 Farm Bill
RC and our allies seek a bill that supports and expands farm livelihoods as an economic base of communities, advances intergenerational land tenure continuity, and promotes familial and community wealth for our nation’s new entry, historically underserved, and veteran producers. Together, also we have worked with the Committee to ensure the inclusion of the critical subset of programs that support access for the most underserved segments of agriculture as well as our urban and rural communities and cooperatives.

See the RC and Allies Equity Letter where we specifically endorse the following legislative packages:

1) The Assist Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Act of 2018 (S.2839 — by Sen. Chris Van Hollen-Sen. Tina Smith and H.R.5824 by Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham), which extends and strengthens the historic Outreach to Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program. It would allow organizations to receive multi-year grants in order to increase efficiency for both USDA and the end users, improve the grant review process through a new peer review requirement, and require annual public reports from USDA. The bill also strengthens systems to track progress in serving these constituencies by making publicly available reports on changes in farm program participation to the county level.

2) The Assist Farmers and Ranchers Operating on Heirs’ Property to Participate in USDA Programs Act of 2018 (by Sen. Doug Jones and Rep. Marcia Fudge), which provides statutory authority to allow producers farming on land that is held by undivided interests without administrative authority (heirs’ property, or property where owners passed away without leaving a will or assigning an executor) to secure access to USDA programs. This bill authorizes acceptance of alternate forms of documentation defining who may use the land, which would allow many more farm operators to qualify to participate in farm and conservation programs. USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) would also be authorized to loan funds to qualified intermediaries to relend to families to resolve heirs’ property issues and clear title to farmland. Finally, the bill authorizes data collection and comprehensive analysis on trends in farmland ownership and operation, and transitions of farms and ranches to a new generation of owners and operators. These studies would improve our understanding of the impact of unresolved land tenure issues on the ability of producers to operate farms and pass on farms to new generations.

3) The Next Generation in Agriculture Act (S. 2762 by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Sen. Susan Collins), which breaks down additional barriers faced by new entry operators and strengthens real support for the next generation of producers. The bill permanently reauthorizes and strengthens the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, including by eliminating the matching requirement; and adds new authority for coordinators at USDA to improve delivery and outreach to young and beginning farmers.

**TAKE ACTION TO ENSURE A FULL, FAIR FARM BILL**


Encourage your two Senators to support a Full, Fair 2018 Farm Bill. Here’s how:

• Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Ask to be connected to your Senator’s office.

• When you connect with that office, ask them for the name and email of the person who handles the Farm Bill.

• Write them an email, saying you support a full, fair farm bill – and include this link: to our equity letter.


If you are unable to send an email, ask to speak to the Agriculture Legislative Assistant. Tell them you would like your Senator to cosponsor and support the following bills:

o S.2839 by Senators Van Hollen and Smith to assist our nation’s diverse and Veteran Producers;

o S. 2762 by Senator Heitkamp and Collins to help a new generation farm; and

o The Heirs Property Access Act by Senator Doug Jones, to help producers on family land with many heirs gain access to USDA programs.


Repeat the above with the second Senator from your state.

Stay in touch – the work is not over

• Go here to Sign up for our contact list.

• Follow us on Twitter, and Facebook.

• Go here: to support our Summer of Equity Campaign with a contribution

Thank you for being an advocate for Equity!

We Can Do Better than the House’s Version of the 2018 Farm Bill

This is the second blog post of many to come in our series on how we can build a better Farm Bill.

Last week’s version of the House 2018 Farm Bill would:

 

1) Legislate terrible SNAP cuts making more people ineligible for the program by counting family benefits such as heating assistance as income, and also adding onerous requirements that poor families can’t meet – such as copies of utility bills even for people with disabilities who may live in group facilities and lack such documentation. (We don’t like that, nor do our friends. Proponents say it won’t hurt children or families, but see what the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office had to say Here);

2) “Block grant” SNAP monies to the States to impose work requirements for adult SNAP recipients without regard to the local labor market, the prior existence of job programs in those places, or the actual cost to states of creating a whole new job training bureaucracy. (Please click Here); for more.

4) Slash Conservation Program funding including for small-scale family, diverse and veteran farmers and ranchers who seek to use sustainable practices and innovations to better address the environmental impacts of agriculture and climate change;

5) Slash Rural Development Programs

6) Impose a “Poison Our Waters Provision,” which eliminates Clean Water Act safeguards to protect farmers, farmworkers and communities from pesticides sprayed directly into water supplies.

7) Expand the ways corporate agriculture can evade environmental protections for the water and land.

8) Freeze or cut programs that are helping promote equity, instead of finding new ways to promote equity.

 

And much more…We can do better. Join us

See our first blog post on the Farm Bill Here

Keep Fighting to Build a Better Farm Bill

This is the first blog post of many in our series on how we can build a better Farm Bill.

Strangely, the U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass its shoe-in majority version of the 2018 Farm Bill. Why? Because, surprisingly, something worse is possible.

At the same time the highly flawed HR 2, Agriculture and Food Act of 2018, was approaching the House Floor, a group of moderate Republicans who want immigration reform joined with most Democrats on a bipartisan bill that gives Dreamers a chance. As this group got within a few signatures of the 218 needed for the House to vote (and pass) the Dreamer Bill, 30 conservative members of the Freedom Caucus (who wanted to pass anti-immigrant legislation instead) rebelled by voting against the Farm Bill. So the House Farm Bill failed on May 18 with a vote of 198-213.

In a last minute twist of Republican infighting, leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives are contemplating keeping the defeated “Harm Bill” in play by reintroducing it as an Agriculture, Nutrition and Immigration Bill.

Who’s for what?

 

  • In order to regain the Freedom Caucus votes needed to pass the HR 2, the new bill would combine the most partisan and draconian Farm Bill since 1965 with a Guestworker Bill by Rep. Bob Goodlatte that echoes the repressive Bracero program, circa 1942.

 

 

  • Big Agriculture supports the bad HR 2, and urgently needs workers, so would support the combined plan…

 

 

  • Except that the Goodlatte Bill includes a requirement that ag employers use an electronic verification system.

 

 

  • Big Ag opposes e-verify and will only support the combined bill if that requirement is taken out.

 

 

  • Meanwhile, the Freedom Caucus wants to keep E-verify.

 

 

So the standoff to get the 218 votes needed to pass any of the above continues.

(Complicated? Yes, they are.)

Meanwhile, what can we do?

 

Keep Fighting to Build a Better Farm Bill – Actions for Equity

Congress is on break until June 5 so this week is a good time to urge your Representative to vote against HR 2, the Goodlatte Guestworker bill, and any combination of the two.

Soon after Congress returns, we expect the Senate Agriculture Committee to officially begin writing their version of the Farm Bill. So this is also a good week to tell your Senators what you want to see in the Senate Farm Bill.

Rural Coalition has been working with our allies provide policy proposals to help the Senate Ag Committee complete a better bill that avoids the worst things in the House bill, and advances in a bipartisan package some of the best available amendments and policy proposals.

Help Senators write equity into their Farm Bill.

 

  • Check out our Rural Coalition Equity Letter to the Senate Ag Committee, already endorsed by more than 100 organizations which outlines our positions on full funding for SNAP, conservation and rural development, and which extends and improves Outreach for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers Program, and would allow access to USDA farm and conservation programs for African American and other families farming on heirs property. (Add your organization here!)

 

Stay Tuned and Join us for our Summer of Equity Actions.

 

 

And Keep Reading with Us. . .

 

  • See our second blog post for a quick run down of what was in the House “Harm Bill” that could re-emerge when the House and Senate go to conference to discuss their joint bill.

 

 

 

  • Also, coming soon to our blog: How can equity provisions preserve farmland, promote sustainable agriculture practices, and protect national food security?

 

Roasting Chiles NM: People of the Land Working Together Gathering

Here we are with Ivan roasting chili in Atrisco, NM. The Warrior Farmers of Desert Forge will be selling it at the farmers market in Albuquerque every Saturday. It has been a successful year of cooperation among the heirs to the Atrisco Land Grant who have opened up their community and land to the Vets. Together they are building a new collaboration called “Now You Know New Mexico.” More on that next year!