Thursday, September 6

The Farm Bill and Locally Grown Food

My friends at the American Farmland Trust remind me:

Every hour, we lose 125 acres of farm and ranch land. That’s 3,000 acres a day and over 1 million acres a year!

Eighty-six percent of America’s fruits and vegetables are grown in metro regions in the path of development.

Over half of America’s land is managed by farmers and ranchers, and their decisions affect our air, water, wildlife and food. The farm bill influences those decisions and is up for voting this fall.

What would a world without farms and ranches mean? Probably a growing dependence on the center aisles of our grocery stores—processed foods enriched with ingredients you can’t pronounce.

But what about our water and the air we breathe? Over half of the U.S. is working agriculture land, and well managed farms and ranches provide critical environmental benefits like water filtration, flood control, air quality improvements, carbon sequestration, renewable energy and wildlife habitat. But our farms and ranches are threatened; thankfully we have a chance to make a change.

The 2007 Farm Bill debate is heating up, but it’s not just a battle to be fought on Capitol Hill. It affects the availability and cost of fresh, healthy food both in the U.S. and worldwide. The farm bill impacts how farmers manage their land and their ability to be good stewards of our air, water and wildlife—it shapes what tools are available for communities to fight sprawl and protect local farms and ranches.

Instead of subsidizing overproduction on marginal lands, let’s support America’s farmers and ranchers so they continue to provide fresh and healthy food and protect our environment. Learn more from American Farmland Trust at

If You Care About Your Money and Your Health, Pay Attention to the Farm Bill

This fall, the United States Congress will enact this nation's most important legislation affecting the environment, healthy food and our local communities. It’s the 2007 Farm Bill. Now is our opportunity to demand a more balanced farm bill that will end subsidy distortion, protect our farms and ranches from sprawl, support local and healthy foods, and protect our air, water, land and wildlife.

In a land of plenty, 35 million Americans do not have enough to eat. Yet we continue to subsidize the overproduction of cheap sugars and fats despite skyrocketing healthcare costs linked to diet related illnesses like obesity and diabetes. Meanwhile, fresh and healthy foods are in the path of development. 86% of America's fruits and vegetables are grown in metro regions threatened by sprawl.

The Senate will begin writing their version of the farm bill this September. Please let them know you want farm and food policy that will support farmers and ranchers, your community, the environment and all Americans. Take action at

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