National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) applauds the rejection of punitive work requirements to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the inclusion of several “small but mighty” provisions in the final text of the farm bill released today, including measures developed by NFFC to improve credit access. However, NFFC does not support the overall status quo direction of the bill, which does not go far enough to improve the lives and livelihoods of family farmers and rural communities.
Trump Administration measures announced this week will not return prosperity to rural America.
Family Farmers and Ranchers Seek Economic Empowerment, not Taxpayer Bailout
More than 50 family farmer, labor, and consumer organizations urged federal agriculture policymakers to take immediate steps to help US dairy farmers, who have struggled for years with milk prices that are well below their costs of production.
NFFC today sent this letter to Congressional and USDA agriculture leadership urging immediate action on the dairy crisis.
On April 17th each year, members of La Via Campesina – the largest umbrella organization in the world for family farmers, fisher and herder folk, hunters/gatherers/foresters, and indigenous peoples – commemorate the massacre of landless peasants in 1996 in the Amazonian state of Pará, Brazil. Nineteen members of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) were attacked and killed while hundreds more peasants were injured by Brazilian military police during their protest for comprehensive agrarian reform. This struggle for justice continues in Brazil today. Events planned for April 17th worldwide may be viewed online (http://bit.ly/2GUu8Y0April17th).
Ben Burkett, NFFC former board president raising soy, old growth pine trees and roughly 20 different vegetables in Mississippi, added, “As a 4th generation family farmer this merger concentrates too much seed stock and intellectual property into one company, further declining rural America.”
NAFTA should be replaced with an agreement that encourages and ensures environmental sustainability, economic viability and longevity for the people growing and harvesting our food, as well as their communities, in all three NAFTA countries.
The Senate is expected to approve Perdue easily, but the question of his loyalty — to family farmers or to agribusiness — is imperative given the gravity of the economic situation facing rural America.
These 900 dairy farmers deserve a chance to stay in business until a real solution is developed. Contact the Market Administrator’s office by phone in Albany at 518-452-4410, or in Boston at 617-737-7199.
Almost everyone in the country involved with family farmer issues knew Kathy Ozer. We also knew that she had been sick for a while and thought she was getting better. On January 22, the cancer – non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – finally took her from us. She was 58 years old.
This speech by George Naylor was written as the keynote address to precede the panel, Farmers Leading the Food Movement, for the Food Tank Summit, Washington, D.C., April 21, 2016.