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Groups Push Senate to ‘Cultivate’ a More Fair Farm Bill

October 12, 2007

Manchester, NH – As a new U.S. Farm Bill is being written in Washington, an advertising campaign being launched in New Hampshire calls on Congress for change. The Senate is expected to take up a version passed by the House next week, but opponents say it provides too much help to corporate mega-farms and very little for family farms in New England. The groups have mounted a media blitz, in New Hampshire and several other states, that asks the Senate to reset farm priorities.

Stephanie Demmons is the New Hampshire organizer for Oxfam America, one of several groups behind the campaign. She believes the Farm Bill doesn't adequately support family farmers, in the U.S. and other nations.

"The Farm Bill that we have right now isn't supporting our family farmers; 60 percent of small farmers aren't receiving any subsidy support. We want to see a reduction in trade-distorting subsidies that aren't helping family farmers in New Hampshire. They're cheating taxpayers, and they're devastating family farmers around the world."

Oxfam America says it has placed the advertising in New Hampshire to reach presidential candidates, and also to ask the state's two Senators to step up and champion farm policy reform. A spokesman for Senator John Sununu says he agrees that too much federal aid is going to the wrong places.

John Robinson/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - NH