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, June 27, 2018

Call Your Senators NOW on the FARM BILL about Checkoffs! Voting This Week!

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Farm Bill
Dear Atlanta,

The Senate is considering the Farm Bill right now. The leadership's goal is to finish the debate, vote on all of the amendments, and pass the full bill before the end of this week—so NOW is the time to call!

Unfortunately, the PRIME Act has not been filed as an amendment. But the Checkoff Reform Amendment has been filed and needs your support! If passed, it will stop checkoff tax dollars from ending up in the hands of corporate agribusiness lobbying groups, and it will ensure all checkoff budgets and spending are made public.

A similar amendment was filed to the House Farm Bill, but it was withdrawn. Our chance for federal checkoff program reform in the 2018 Farm Bill is now.

- FTCLDF Team
TAKE ACTION

Call your U.S. Senators TODAY

Call both of your U.S. Senators and urge them to vote yes on the Checkoff Reform Amendment to the Farm Bill.

You can find out who represents you by going HERE or by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

A sample message for calls/voice mails/emails is below. If you get their voice mail, be sure to leave a clear message.

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

I urge Senator _______ to vote YES on the Lee-Booker Checkoff Reform Amendment SA 3074. Farmers' tax dollars should only go to neutral entities that don't lobby, and we need safeguards to ensure that the money is spent fairly.

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

Thank you.
MORE INFORMATION

Under federal law, farmers of certain commodities (including pork, eggs, beef, and milk) are required to pay a portion of their sales into Checkoff funds to pay for promotional advertising and research, like the "Beef, it's what for dinner" or "Got Milk?" campaign. Checkoff programs collect tens of millions of dollars from America's farmers and ranchers each year.

Much of the checkoff funds go to industry agriculture trade organizations. While they can't use the money directly for lobbying, the funding helps them grow by underwriting their overhead, travel costs, etc.
and then they are free to use their other funds to lobby against the interests of family farmers, such as by opposing country of origin labeling. 

The dairy checkoff has even used its funds to run ads and professional educational campaigns that attack raw milk's safety
hurting the same farmers who pay fees to the checkoff!

Adding SA 3074 to the Farm Bill would prevent conflicts of interest and stop governing boards of the checkoff programs from contracting with organizations that engage in lobbying. It would also require checkoff boards to publish all budgets and disbursements of funds for public inspection.

AND ON THE HOUSE SIDE:

The House narrowly passed its disastrous version of the Farm Bill, with a vote of 213-211. To see how your Representative voted, visit the Final Vote Results for Roll Call. The Senate version is our only chance for any positive changes in this year's Farm Bill, so please take action today!

Thank you for speaking up for our food system!
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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