MCE’s campaign work for the 2023 Farm Bill is underway! Together with our partners in the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, we are working to ensure the next Farm Bill supports our farmers, our health, and our environment.
Marker bills have been introduced – these are what we describe as “draft pages” of the final Farm Bill – and we need your help asking Missouri’s congressional delegation to co-sponsor the marker bills most important to Missouri’s farmers, health, and environment. The more co-sponsors a marker bill has, especially from both major political parties, the more likely Congressional leadership will decide next year to put that bill’s language into the final 2023 Farm Bill. View information about each of the marker bills below and urge your Members of Congress to co-sponsor these bills!
The Agriculture Resilience Act represents a comprehensive approach to addressing climate change in agriculture. First of its kind, the act addresses climate change throughout much of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) programming–not only that which affects farmers, but elements that shape the larger food system, as well. There is broad public support for government incentive-based solutions to climate challenges in agriculture. With its focus on incentives for best practices throughout agricultural programs, the ARA represents exactly what the public, researchers, and advocates have been calling for to move agriculture toward climate resilient systems. Read more in NSAC’s press release here
In the U.S, the agricultural sector currently contributes 10% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve net zero agricultural emissions by 2040, this bill focuses on six concrete policy areas and offers farmer-driven solutions rooted in science to help mitigate climate change and increase agricultural resilience across the sector. These goal areas include:
(1) agricultural research,
(2) soil health,
(3) farmland preservation,
(4) pasture-based livestock management,
(5) on-farm renewable energy, and
(6) food waste initiatives.
Call your Members of Congress today and tell them: “Co-Sponsor the Agriculture Resilience Act to help farmers handle the adverse climate crisis effects they are currently facing and safekeep the future of farming!”
Reforms for Equity
Justice for Black Farmers Act (S. 96)
Initial Sponsor: Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ). View the bill links above to see a complete list of each bill’s cosponsors.
The Justice for Black Farmers act seeks to address and remedy the historic discrimination by the USDA toward Black farmers for decades. This discrimination led “Black farmers to lose millions of acres of farmland and robbed Black farmers and their families of the hundreds of billions of dollars of inter-generational wealth that land represented” (Sen. Booker).
Call your Members of Congress today and tell them: “Co-Sponsor the Black Farmers Act to support a more equitable agricultural system that provides socially disadvantaged communities with the necessary resources they need to succeed and rights the decades-long wrongs by the USDA.”
Whole Farm Revenue Protection Program Improvement Act (S. 2598)
Initial sponsor: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). View the bill link above to see a complete list of the bill’s cosponsors.
Crop insurance is not working for all farmers. The federal crop insurance program is not designed to meet the needs of small, beginning, diverse, specialty crop, and organic farmers. All farmers deserve the opportunity to enroll in a safety net to protect against unforeseen risk. Record-high taxpayer subsidies benefit private insurance companies and a small number of the largest commodity farms, while most farmers are unable to access insurance at all.
The Whole Farm Revenue Protection Program Improvement Act will:
- close the coverage gap for small to mid-sized, beginning, specialty crop, and diversified producers,
- authorize the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) to conduct research and development to increase crop insurance participation for farmers marketing to local and regional markets,
- authorize the FCIC to consider expanding the diversification premium discount to farmers who utilize a resource-conserving crop rotation,
- raise the annual limit to historic gross revenue expansion and expands the diversification premium discount to encourage more diverse farmers to enroll in the program,
- forbid any modifications of price and production expectations when filing a loss claim.
Call your Members of Congress and tell them: Co-sponsor the WFRP Act to help close the coverage gap, increase participation, and support diverse producers in the agriculture industry through the Whole Farm Revenue Protection Program.
Fair Credit for Farmers Act (S. 2668)
Initial sponsor: Sen. Gillibrand (D-NY). View the bill link above to see a complete list of the bill’s cosponsors.
Access to appropriate credit is critical for farmers, particularly those just beginning their career in agriculture. Rarely do beginning farmers have the cash to outright purchase equipment, inputs, and land. Credit allows farmers to purchase the supplies they need and get a crop in the ground before the fruits of that labor are available.
Talking points below are from the National Family Farm Coalition and RAFI USA
The Fair Credit for Farmers Act will:
- enact a targeted two-year, interest-free direct loan payment deferral,
- waive guarantees loan fees for historically underserved borrowers,
- limit over-collateralization on farm loans and protect farmers’ homes,
- eliminate the loan eligibility term limit,
- ensure that farmers can refinance existing debt with FSA loans,
- restore farmers FSA eligibility after a debt write-down,
- expand equitable relief when FSA erroneously denies a farmer’s loan or program benefit,
- improve transparency and fairness in the National Appeals Division
Call your Members of Congress and tell them: Co-sponsor the Fair Credit for Farmers Act to improve access and accountability for USDA farm loan services – helping historically underserved farmers and ranchers receive equal treatment in FSA lending and appeals processes!
The Increasing Land Access, Security, and Opportunities Act will:
- provide federal funding to address challenges of land access, retention, and transition for farmers and ranchers,
- emphasizes the importance of secure land access for food security, economic growth, and climate resilience,
- offer flexible support for community-led initiatives and provides critical resources for innovative solutions, and
- connect to the USDA Increasing Land, Capital, and Market Access Program, which supports community-led projects nationwide.
Call your Members of Congress today and tell them: “Co-sponsor Increasing Land Access, Security, and Opportunities Act to provide farmers and ranchers with necessary resources for secure land access, equitable opportunities, and sustainable agriculture.”
Sustainable Local Food Systems
Local Farms & Food Act (H.R. 2723)
Initial Sponsors: Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME). View the bill link above to see a complete list of each bill’s cosponsors.
The LFFA is a comprehensive bill that offers reforms to the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP), Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP), and the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). The legislation would increase access to each program to catalyze investments in underserved areas and among small producers. These investments will strengthen local and regional food system infrastructure and promote local economic development in both rural and urban communities.
The Local Farms and Food Act will:
- Increase equity and access to LAMP programs by creating simplified applications, scaling cost-share requirements for smaller growers, and ensuring funding reaches underserved communities,
- Meet critical and under-supported needs for local food system equipment, value-chain coordination, and business technical assistance,
- And expand impactful nutrition incentive programs and ensure low-income families have easy access to healthful local foods by equipping farmers’ markets to readily accept federal nutrition benefits, increasing funding for SFMNP, and reducing barriers for organizations to participate in the GusNIP program.
Call your Members of Congress today and tell them: “Co-Sponsor the Local Farms and Food Act to build an equitable, resilient, local food system, ensuring resources are provided to those who need it most!”
SLPA is a comprehensive bill that promotes competitive agricultural markets and invests in economic development by addressing acute livestock supply chain issues, supporting small meat and poultry processing plants, and promoting training programs that will bolster the resilience of communities and their food systems. Read more in NSAC’s press release here.
- take steps to address livestock processing infrastructure needs at the local, regional, and state level
- expand the capacity of existing local livestock processing facilities, which helps push back against corporate concentration in the meatpacking industry
- invest in training and workforce development programs to help address both the short- and long-term staffing capacity needs of processing facilities to meet the heightened demand for livestock products
- incentivize states to operate state inspection programs and participate in the Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) program, which helps open new meat processing plants for local and regional meat and poultry producers
Call your Members of Congress today and tell them: “Co-Sponsor the Strengthening Local Processing Act to ensure small-scale livestock producers have the resources they need to reach their local consumers with products.”
Farmers Market & Food Bank Local Revitalization Act (H.R. 2378)
Initial Sponsor: Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH). View the bill link above to see a complete list of the bill’s cosponsors.
The bill seeks to invest in local and regional agriculture in order to strengthen the relationship among local farmers and local consumers to support public health and a flourishing economy.
The bill proposes increased funding for the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) which will provide low-income seniors with access to locally grown food and increase benefits for the Women, Infants, and Children Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP). The bill further offers resources for farmers markets with new infrastructure goals and a funding program. The bill will also create a new Department of Agriculture program for food banks to find produce from local farmers.
Call your Members of Congress today and tell them: “Co-Sponsor the Farmers and Food Bank Local Revitalization Act to help low income and marginalized communities access locally grown food through nutrition assistance programs at farmers markets and at food banks that would have resources to grow their own food!
Farm Bill Fact Sheets
See below for fact sheets on all of the marker bills we are asking you to support
Call your members of Congress today and ask them to co-sponsor the marker bills outlined above!
|U.S. Senator||Phone Number|
|MO||Josh Hawley||(202) 224-6154|
|MO||Eric Schmitt||(202) 224 5721|
|1||Cori Bush (D-St. Louis)||(202) 225-2406|
|2||Ann Wagner (R-Ballwin)||(202) 225-1621|
|3||Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-St. Elizabeth)||(202) 225-2956|
|4||Mark Alford (R-Lake Winnebago)||(202) 225-2876|
|5||Emanuel Cleaver (D-Kansas City)||(202) 225-4535|
|6||Sam Graves (R-Tarkio)||(202) 225-7041|
|7||Eric Burlison (R-Ozark)||(202) 225-6536|
|8||Jason Smith (R-Salem)||(202) 225-4404|
If you are a farmer, we want to hear from you!
How is climate change impacting your farm? What are you doing to create climate solutions on your farm? We want to ground truth our advocacy in the experiences of Missouri farmers. Your stories help show decision-makers like our members of Congress the importance of federal action in the climate and agriculture space through policies like the marker bills above. If you are willing to share your story, please write a few sentences to us in the form below or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set up a time for a phone call to discuss.