Your Senator needs to hear from you!

Your Senator needs to hear from you!

The first draft of the 2012 Farm Bill is here — and it doesn’t do nearly as much as it should for organic farmers, on commodity payments reform, or to prioritize agricultural research that protects public health and benefit farmers rather than the pesticide industry.
 
Today and tonight are critical windows for making your voice heard. It's simple and only takes 5 minutes to make a call.
 
Even if you get to this after business hours tonight, it’s not too late to get a better food and farm bill through Congress. But we must act quickly! Tomorrow the Senate agriculture committee will vote on a series of amendments to the draft bill.

Instructions: Political insiders tell us that one phone call is worth dozens of emails. Please locate your Senator's phone number in the list below and call right away!

AR
R
John Boozman
(202) 224-4843
CO
D
Michael Bennet
(202) 224-5852
GA
D
Saxby Chambliss
(202) 224-3521
IA
R
Charles Grassley
(202) 224-3744
IA
D
Tom Harkin
(202) 224-3254
IN
R
Richard G. Lugar
(202) 224-4814
KY
R
Mitch McConnell
(202) 224-2541
MN
D
Amy Klobuchar
(202) 224-3244
MS
R
Thad Cochran
(202) 224-5054
MT
D
Max Baucus
(202) 224-2651
ND
D
Kent Conrad
(202) 224-2043
ND
R
John Hoeven
(202) 224-2551
OH
D
Sherrod Brown
(202) 224-2315
PA
D
Robert Casey, Jr.
(202) 224-6324
SD
R
John Thune
(202) 224-2321


When you call, simply ask for the staffer who works on agriculture, and deliver this message: 

"I support sensible farm policy and urge Senator [insert name] to co-sponsor and support the following amendments:

  • Sen. Casey’s amendment to fix crop insurance for organic farmers by removing the unjustified 5% premium;

  • Sen. Gillibrand’s Seeds and Breeds Research Priority, which will help fund public breeding so that farmers can access un-patented and locally appropriate seeds and breeds;

  • Sen. Leahy’s IPM Research, Public Health, and Technology Review amendment; and

  • Both amendments that restore fiscal responsibility by capping subsidy payments. The Grassley amendment will tighten commodity payment limitations and close loopholes, and the Brown-Nelson amendment, 'Reforming AGI Caps' will re-direct payments to support better programs.

These five amendments are critical pieces of any Food and Farm Bill that makes sense, and I urge Senator [insert name] to actively support them. Thank you."

More detail on these amendments:

PM Research, Public Health Report, and Technology Review: Sen. Leahy (D-VT) will be filing an amendment that will accomplish several key research priorities, including re-establishing a board to provide analysis and oversight of federally funded agricultural technologies, requiring USDA to prepare a report on the impacts of federal agricultural policies and programs on public health, and authorizing regional centers to coordinate integrated pest management research and activities across the country.

Seeds and Breeds Research Priority:  Sen. Gillibrand (D-NY) will be filing an amendment that will require that 5 percent of total AFRI funding be used for conventional plant and animal breeding, and clarifies that conventional breeding should focus on the development of public plant cultivar and animal breeds that do not require the use of genetic technology.  This provision will require a fair percentage of program funding be invested in public breeding and ensures that farmers have access to locally adapted and publicly available seeds and breeds.

Crop Insurance for Organic Farmers:  Sen. Casey (D-PA) will be filing an amendment to fix crop insurance for organic farmers by removing the unjustified premium surcharge for organic and directing the Risk Management Agency to develop organic price elections.

Reforming AGI Caps:  Sens. Brown (D-OH) and Nelson (D-NE) will be filing an amendment to reform AGI caps and use the savings to fund a number of programs, including the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, the BFR Individual Development Account, the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, and the Value-Added Producer Grants program.

Payment Limitations and Actively Engaged:  Sen. Grassley (R-IA) will be filing an amendment that will tighten payments limitations and close loopholes in commodity payment programs.