Atlanta Real Food is run by the Atlanta area chapter leaders of The Weston A. Price Foundation. Here you will find the latest news from local farmers, get information on how to properly prepare real foods, and stay up to date on local events.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A Vote on the Farm Bill is Expected THIS WEEK!

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The Farm Bill
EVEN IF YOU ALREADY TOOK ACTION, IT'S IMPORTANT TO CALL AGAIN 
THIS WEEK!
Dear Atlanta,

Every five years, Congress passes a Farm Bill, a massive piece of legislation that covers crop subsidies, food stamps, conservation, energy policy on ethanol and renewables, and more. Fundamentally, the Farm Bill is about continuing and promoting the current Agribusiness model, supporting conventional production and anonymous distribution systems for the benefit of a handful of massive corporations.

There are several problems with the Farm Bill, but this vote offers the chance to fix a few of them. Currently, over 100 amendments have been filed. Several of the amendments would directly help farmers in our community. The following amendments are extremely important to FTCLDF because of their direct impact on small farmers, consumers, and potentially our members.

1) Ensuring the PRIME Act is included in the Farm Bill, which will provide greater access to local processing for small farmers, and improve access to local meat.
2) Removing the FDA's ban on the interstate transport of raw milk.
3) Reforming the Checkoff programs so that the farmers' tax dollars don't fund Big Agribusiness lobbying groups.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the Farm Bill THIS WEEK (possibly Thursday 5/17) and we need your help!

Take a few minutes to think about why each of these issues—local control, access to local meats, and taxing farmers to promote Big Ag—matters to you. 

When you call, ask to speak to the staffer who handles agricultural issues. If you are directed to their voicemail, go ahead and leave a detailed message based on the script below and your notes.

Yes, this takes more thought that hitting a button on an auto email system. But it takes just a few minutes of thinking about what you want to say, and then three or four minutes per call—and your impact is literally hundreds of times greater than an auto email!

Thank you for speaking up for our farmers and local food producers! We will update you as soon as we have more information.

- FTCLDF Team

TAKE ACTION #1:

Call your U.S. Representative. You can find out who represents you by going to www.house.gov or by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. 

Please be sure to personalize your message
it's better to leave out some of our points, and add your own perspective, than to simply read from a script. This sample message for calls is just to help you get started and organize your thoughts:

Hi, I'm ______ from ___ [city].   I am a  __________ [farmer, local food consumer, chef.]
 
As a constituent, I urge Representative ___ to vote yes on three important amendments to the Farm Bill: 
 
1) The Massie Amendment No. 29, which would give states the freedom to permit the intra-state distribution of custom-slaughtered meat. This amendment addresses the severe shortage of processing facilities for small-scale producers in many areas of this country, providing more options for livestock farmers and the consumers who want locally raised meat.

2) The Massie-Rohrabacher-Polis Amendment No. 30, which removes the FDA's ban on the interstate transport of raw milk.  Raw milk is legal to sell in a majority of states, yet the FDA's rules make it illegal for a farmer to cross state lines with his or her product – even if it's legal in both the state the farmer produced it in and the state they're taking it to!
 
3) The Brat-Blumenauer Amendment No. 71, which would reform the Checkoff Programs so that the money doesn't serve as backdoor funding for lobbying groups, and which provides some protections against the misuse of the money. 
 
Please let me know where the Representative stands on these issues.  My phone number is ______. Thank you.
TAKE ACTION #2:

Call your U.S. Senators. You can find out who represents you by going to www.senate.gov/senators/contact or by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Sample message for calls/voice mails/emails:

Hi, I'm ___ from ___. I am a __________ [farmer, local food consumer, chef.]

As a constituent, I urge Senator ___ to work to ensure that important changes are made in the Senate version of the bill, as compared to the House version.

[Same list of issues as above]

Please let me know where the Senator stands on these issues. My phone number is ______. Thank you.

Who We Are/What We Do

Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF), a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, defends the rights and broadens the freedoms of family farms and artisan food producers while protecting consumer access to raw milk and nutrient-dense foods.

Learn more About Us.
www.farmtoconsumer.org | 703-208-FARM (3276) | info@farmtoconsumer.org
8116 Arlington Blvd Suite #263, Falls Church, VA 22042, United States
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