Tell Congress: Pass the Local FARMS Act!


farmers market stand selling bright carrots

Demand for locally grown food is on the rise, as consumers take more interest in how their food is produced, and how food production affects their own health, and the health of their communities.

That’s a positive trend. But if consumers want more local food, shouldn’t we do more to ensure the economic success of the independent farmers who grow that food?

TAKE ACTION: Tell your members of Congress to support the Local Food and Regional Market Supply (Local FARMS) Act.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 160,000 U.S. farmers sold $8.7 billion of local food to consumers, retailers, institutions and local distributors in 2015.  The USDA’s sales figure is considerably lower than that of food industry research firm, Packaged Facts, which says (as reported by Business Insider) that Local food sales in the U.S. grew from $5 billion to $12 billion between 2008 and 2014.

Either way, consumers are buying more local food, as are restaurants, schools and other institutions. And yet, our $90 billion Farm Bill is written largely to favor the corporations that produce factory farm meat and highly processed GMO junk foods—it does little to help build markets and infrastructure designed to support your local independent farmer.

The Local Food and Regional Market Supply (Local FARMS) Act aims to change that. 

The bill, introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb), and Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.), would support the continued expansion of new market opportunities for American family farmers by:

•    Helping farmers reach new markets through outreach, cost-share, and technical assistance programs

•    Increasing access to fresh, healthy, local food among low-income groups and communities in need

•    Developing new and strengthening existing infrastructure that connects producers to consumers

The Agriculture Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has already passed their version of the Farm Bill (H.R. 2) and the Local FARMS Act isn’t in it. On the bright side, H.R. 2 may not have the votes to pass the House.

We’re staying optimistic that the Farm Bill debate will carry on past the 2018 elections and we’ll get a fresh start when the new Congress takes office in 2019.

We’re going to try to not get too distracted by all the bad things in the House Farm Bill and stay focus on letting Congress know what we want: Local farms that use regenerative organic farming techniques to provide the cleanest, most nutrient-dense food possible!

The Local FARMS Act recognizes the vast, untapped potential in our farming and food producing communities and offers ways to transform that potential into economic prosperity.  It means opportunity for our family farmers, as well as increased access to fresh, healthy foods for American families.

Who’s your farmer? 

TAKE ACTION: Tell your members of Congress to support the Local Food and Regional Market Supply (Local FARMS) Act.


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