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Pick up your phone

(article, Kim Carlson)

Ken Cook, the president of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), sent out a call to action this morning. He wants to reach everyone who believes we, as a nation, can do better at supporting the people who grow our food: 

bq.The House is dangerously close to passing a bill that's almost identical to the current unfair Farm Bill — the one that's been paying subsidies to millionaires and dead people instead of family farmers.

bq.Support for farmers transitioning to organics. Healthier school lunches. More funds to feed hungry children and seniors. Protection of water and wildlife. The 2007 Farm Bill could do it all, but time is running out for reform.

bq.Call your Representative today and ask them to support the Fairness in Farm and Food Policy Amendment.

The Fairness in Farm and Food Policy Amendment is a proposed amendment to the Farm Bill. According to the EWG, the amendment promises to:

# put America on a new course for family farm and food policy
# help farmers transition to organics
# provide a more reliable safety net for America's organic and family farmers at less cost to the taxpayer, and
# reflect the priorities of a new America by providing new resources to address our country's hunger, health, environmental, and fiscal priorities.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, however, supports the Farm Bill with much less reform than this amendment proposes. 

Yesterday, Chow's blog, The Grinder, ran a roundup of the latest on the Farm Bill; one of the commenters left a handy weblink for contacting your individual representative. Over the weekend, bloggers at the Ethicurean ran an immediate analysis of Pelosi's position, which they, like many who are advocating for Farm Bill reform, find deeply disappointing.

Need more background on the issue? Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer is a strong advocate for reform and one of the backers of the Fairness in Food and Farm Policy Amendment. Another excellent (if lengthy) resource is Keith Good's most recent post at Farm Policy.

Finally, the bottom line: Call or write your representative now and tell him or her that you support more reform to the Farm Bill than Speaker Pelosi is advocating. The EWG provides a list of points to make when you call. 

The House will vote on the Farm Bill this week; you shouldn't wait to pick up the phone.