July 6, 2007
FEDERAL FARM BILL INCLUSION PROPOSED TO EXPAND LOCAL/ORGANIC FOOD PRODUCTION
My name is Brian Murray and my father, J.C. Murray, and my aunt, Linda Murray, live in the Yelm area.
I was discussing a very important campaign with them on my visit there last week and they recommended that I contact you.
I’ve been working on the Federal Farm Bill with my colleague Jim Braun, a farmer from Iowa turned lobbyist. Along with a coalition of food and agricultural organizations, we’ve established 5 points to expand local/organic food production that we are advocating for inclusion in The 2007 Farm Bill (listed below)
These policy points offer U.S. Citizens a way to take back some control over our food, environment, and lifestyles. This is a bridge issue, instead of a wedge issue, that would unite multiple political perspectives because it offers better security through a more transparent localized food system. These initiatives will also aid in building a system that will rely less on toxic chemical inputs and foreign oil, due to shorter shipping distances, again providing more security and decreasing environmental pollution. In addition, these proposals provide an opportunity to create much needed rural revitalization programs, while at the same time diminishing the negative impact that our commodity dumping has on the global economy and the developing nations that fall prey to its unfair conditions.
Please contact all of your federal representatives, on all sides of the aisle, and tell them you support these kinds of policy initiatives for the 2007 Farm Bill. Tell them that small organic and local family farmers deserve help establishing a more secure, equitable food system and that they should introduce and vote for sensible agricultural policy like this.
A hand written, faxed letter is often the best way to contact them, however it never hurts to use all of the means available. If you need contact information for your representatives, check this web page.
For further information on farm bill developments, visit www.genewise.org.
It will shortly be updated to provide current developments on this bill Farm Bill.
1. 50 acres/5 year freedom for farmers to experiment with growing and marketing local food
2. Incentives to help farmers transition from conventional to local and organic food production
3. Funding to help build infrastructures necessary for processing, storing, and distributing locally grown food
4. Full funding for the Farmers Market Nutritional Program (FMNP)
5. Funding for research and education (for organic and local food systems)
This is the culmination of 5 years of my life’s work in this community in Illinois.
Even though this is federal, and deals with a body often thought to be beyond rectification,
it has huge implications for local autonomy throughout the U.S. My hope is that you will support it and
pass it on to all that you know, and encourage them to organize and take action on it.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
I’ve included my information below.
I can provide more resources upon request.
Thank you for your precious time.
Volunteer Outreach Coordinator, Genewise
Graphic Design & Marketing, Goodness Greeness
Mr. Murray's work dovetails nicely with the work of Washington State’s Susie Kyle of Winlock Meadows Farm.
And the Farm Bank Project.