Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sustainable Farm Groups Outline Farm Bill Agenda

Jan 22: A broad alliance of family farm, rural, conservation, sustainable and organic agriculture, anti-hunger, nutrition, faith-based, public health and other groups say the next farm bill should advance a new generation of farm and food policies designed to address some of the nation’s most pressing social, economic, environmental and public health challenges. The group known as the Farm and Food Policy Project (FFPP) detailed their recommendations in a report entitled, Seeking Balance in U.S. Farm and Food Policy. The groups indicated, "The renewal of the Farm Bill in 2007 creates a rare opportunity to take significant steps towards reversing these trends. More than $300 billion in taxpayer dollars is at stake over the next five years. These resources must be managed more responsibly and used to create greater balance in our public policies and ultimately in our farm and food system."

The report outlines innovations which the groups says would make real progress toward creating opportunities for young and beginning farmers, expanding new agricultural markets and value-added enterprises, helping more farmers move to organic production to meet increasing demand, reducing hunger and soaring rates of obesity; encouraging local food production and access to healthy food choices, promoting entrepreneurship and economic development in rural communities; providing incentives for more environmentally friendly farming systems; fostering cooperative conservation partnerships; and providing increased support for socially disadvantaged farmers and farmworkers.

FFPP indicates the report has been endorsed by more than 350 organizations across the country. Some of the lead organizations involved in the effort include: American Farmland Trust; Community Food Security Coalition; Environmental Defense; Farm and Food Policy Diversity Initiative; Northeast Midwest Institute; Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

Access links to various speaker presentations, press release, the report, endorsements, and related information (
click here). [*Land, *Energy, *Agriculture]