New Bill Will Help Family Farmers in Distress

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Bipartisan “Seeding Rural Resilience Act” Is Good First Step, Additional Action Needed

Contact: Siena Chrisman, (917) 821-9631, siena@nffc.net

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 15, 2019

National Family Farm Coalition applauds the introduction today by Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) of the bipartisan “Seeding Rural Resilience Act,” which aims to address mental health issues and curb the growing rate of suicides in rural America. As farmers conclude a fifth growing season of prices below their costs of production and a farm crisis rivaling that of the 1980s sweeps the Heartland, financial and emotional stress have spiked. The Tester-Grassley bill is a necessary first step to address the emotional distress caused by financial precarity. The farm sector also desperately needs additional action from the federal government to stabilize farm income, address corporate consolidation, and ensure financial security for farmers and farm workers.

Jim Goodman, former Wisconsin dairy farmer and president of National Family Farm Coalition, said, “Senators Tester and Grassley, coming from farming backgrounds themselves, understand that when farmers do better, rural America does better. We applaud them for recognizing the pain farmers are in and taking action to alleviate it. We hope this will be just the first step towards systemic reform of government commodity pricing, farm credit programs, and agricultural trade policy.”

Tim Gibbons, Communications Director of Missouri Rural Crisis Center, a founding member of National Family Farm Coalition, said, “We’re encouraged by the Senators’ attention to the mental health crisis facing farm families and rural communities today. We also look forward to working with members of Congress to address the low prices, lack of market access, and corporate control of agricultural commodities that are at the root of both financial and emotional pain on the farm. Local control; open, fair and competitive markets; and a strong democratic process help rural communities thrive.”

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