Building Rural-Urban Partnerships
A packed auditorium at the Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts was the scene: a big city venue for a Farm Bill Teach-in. This alone speaks volumes to the idea that when it comes to food policy and politics, we’re all in this together. The Farm Bill is really the Food Bill. Keynoters at the Farm Bill Teach-in included U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME) who serves on the House ag committee and NYU’s Marion Nestle, PhD and author of many award winning books on food politics.
Congresswoman Pingree’s presentation focused on her Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act. This bill would enact several initiatives that support local growers, specifically revamping a currently controversial crop insurance program and creating one more suited to helping organic and diversified farmers.
To date, it has attracted 68 co-sponsors in the House. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced a companion bill in the Senate, which currently has twelve co-sponsors. Farm Bill experts, Annette Higby, Policy Director of the New England Farmers Union, and Chris Coffin, New England Director of the American Farmland Trust reminded the audience to contact their U.S Senators and local U.S. Representatives.
Make your feelings known about the programs and bills you want your elected officials to support. It doesn’t matter on which side of the political aisle you sit, or what your particular interest is in the Farm Bill — from school lunch programs, local farmers markets, organic farming, food stamps, or ending corporate farm subsidies.
Raise your fork and your voice in solidarity with strengthening local food systems.