New National Farm Bill Platform Good News for MN Ag

Land Stewardship Project Helps Craft ‘Farming for the Future’

CONTACT: Adam Warthesen, LSP, 612-722-6377

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — A new comprehensive 2012 Farm Bill policy platform, “Farming for the Future: A Sustainable Agriculture Agenda for the 2012 Food and Farm Bill,” was released by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) today. The Land Stewardship Project (LSP), an NSAC member, played an integral role in developing this platform.

“The platform is a comprehensive approach to helping agriculture reach its potential for being an economic engine in our communities while protecting the environment,” said Adam Warthesen, an LSP policy organizer.

With a round of Senate Agriculture Committee hearings complete and House Agriculture Committee field hearings underway, Congress is hard at work writing a new Farm Bill. During a special Senate hearing on conservation last month, LSP member-farmer Darrel Mosel spoke in favor of working lands conservation policies that support the ability of farmers to utilize innovative production and management systems. The NSAC platform will expand opportunities for family farmers to do just that while producing good food, sustaining the environment and contributing to vibrant communities, according to Warthesen.

“Farming for the Future” spans nearly every title in the Farm Bill and reflects a comprehensive approach to farm policy reform that will:

• Create jobs and spur economic growth through food and farms.

• Invest in the future of American agriculture.

• Enhance our natural resources and improve agricultural productivity.

• Drive innovation for tomorrow’s farmers and food entrepreneurs.

• Make healthy food widely available today and for generations to come.

This platform is the culmination of over two years of policy work with a broad, diverse coalition of over 90 grassroots organizations from across the country. It reflects the real, urgent needs of farmers, ranchers and food entrepreneurs across the country.

“For LSP, we’re particularly interested in how elements of this platform can support working lands conservation, beginning farmers and regional food systems,” said Dan Specht, LSP Federal Farm Policy Committee member and Clayton County, Iowa, farmer. “And we support reforms that ask farmers to be responsible for basic soil and water conservation of farmland when they are enrolled in crop insurance and the commodity title programs. These programs shouldn’t fuel the expansion efforts of the biggest of the big operators in farm country.”

The platform can be viewed online at http://bit.ly/2012fbplatform.

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