2007 Farm Bill - a Chance to Change the World

The 2007 Farm Bill - the time is now. It's time to wrest unfair advantages and preferential treatment from big business, and to restore democracy. In doing so we may well re-incentivise the harmonious co-habitation of man with the environment.

In the coming months, Congress will seal the next farm bill, legislation so broad in scope that it touches each of us in many ways. When you hear “farm bill,” think beyond the farm. Think food bill, renewable energy bill, nutrition bill, environmental stewardship bill, anti-hunger bill.

Over the past several decades, the farm bill has served the interests of large-scale industrial agriculture with policies designed to produce cheap food and lots of it. This cheap food policy, however, comes with incredibly high external costs: a depleted countryside with fewer farmers, degraded soils and waterways, and public health disasters. A new farm bill — one that serves the interests of all Americans — with a vision toward sustainability, can help reverse these trends. - Commondreams

If there was ever a time to remove the corporate favouritism that dis-incentivises relocalisation - the rebuilding of small-scale farming and self-sufficient low-carbon communities - this is it.

Instead of countless dying small towns across rural America, imagine the countryside dotted with thriving communities, all of them contributing to strong local economies. Imagine clean waterways, protected for generations to come. Imagine farmers markets in every community with fresh, locally grown food, free of chemicals and additives. Imagine powering your home and automobile with energy from renewable sources produced close to your home. Imagine your child’s school serving fresh, wholesome food from your neighbors’ farms. Imagine young people returning to the land to carry on the great tradition of farming. These dreams aren’t futile. They are possible with a farm bill that serves your interests over those of giant corporations.

If you want your grandchildren to inherit a nation with healthy soil, clean water and nutritious food, pick up the phone today and call your representatives in Congress. Tell them you want a farm bill that assists young people who want to start farming; one that restores fairness in the marketplace so family farmers can compete with giant food companies and factory farms; one that puts better food in our schools and rewards farmers who transition to sustainable methods. Let them know you want a farm bill for all, because the farm bill belongs to all of us. - Commondreams

For more information, see Ag Observatory. Check out the 'Understanding the Farm Bill' section at right - where they provide PDF documents outlining the many and varied aspects of the Farm Bill's impact on the planet.

What can you do? Send an online letter to Congress (thanks to The Daily Green for that link), and for good measure, here's another, and another. You can also make contact with your local government representative - letting them know that the unfair advantages given big agribusiness must stop. It's time to provide a level playing field for those that would seek to restore our ecology; to those that would restore biodiversity and health. It's time to give sustainable organic farming a fighting chance.

We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity. If we can learn to see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with appreciation and respect.

 

Ken Cook at Food Fight Part I (the map of subsidy beneficiaries the speaker refers to can be found in the further reading section below)

 

Ken Cook at Food Fight Part II

 

Ken Cook at Food Fight Part III

 

Ken Cook at Food Fight Part IV

 

Further Reading:

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  • Posted on June 29, 2007. Listed in:

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