Farmers Plant the Seed for Sustainable Ag in DC
Thursday, March 14, 2013
A group of independent family farmers from California and other states is urging Congress to restore funding for sustainable agriculture and pass a new five-year farm bill.
The group met with legislators in Washington to help them understand how programs included in the bill affect their farms and communities. Maizie Ganz, owner of Soil Sisters Farm in Nevada City, said she was there to show how these programs are vital to young farmers such as herself.
"It's like a really big hit to sustainable agriculture," she said, "because the funding that we're asking for is like 1 percent of 1 percent of what the farm bill funds."
Last year, Congress passed a short-term extension of the farm bill, which will expire in September. It didn't include funding for dozens of sustainable agriculture programs. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, which organized the trip, says these critical programs have been left stranded without funding.
Without funding for a whole year, Ganz said, certain programs will be compromised.
"There's this conservation program that farmers now can't sign up for," she said. "So that's acres and acres of land that can't go under this conservation program that's already done critical work around the country."
Ganz said Congress has the opportunity to fix the situation this spring through the Continuing Resolution.
More information is online at sustainableagriculture.net.
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