Act this week to tell Congress you love LAMP!
Posted On: August 28, 2018
As the House of Representatives returns from its August recess in a few days, the House-Senate Conference Committee on the farm bill is set to meet for the first time on September 5th. As this date quickly approaches, we have an especially important window of opportunity to elevate our voices in support of vulnerable programs critical to farmers markets, and we need your help to make this final appeal to Congress an impactful one.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, a strong proponent of our work, has issued what is known as a “Dear Colleague letter” and is seeking sign-ons from other members of the House of Representatives. Please contact your Representative this week and urge them to sign on to this letter. A copy of the letter can be viewed here, and a sample call script and email template are below.
It’s been a year full of ups and downs for local food and farmers markets, leading up to a new farm bill that could finally pass only a few short weeks from today. Thank you to everyone who has been a vocal advocate this year for farmers markets, direct-marketing farmers, and the programs that support them. If we all speak up, this one last appeal to legislators could help shape a farm bill that we can all be proud of.
FMC Policy Director
Call script (Try first to get directly connected to the ag staffer if you have a relationship. If not, OK to leave a voicemail.):
As the House of Representatives is set to return from August recess in a few days, I would like to call your attention to an important opportunity to support farmers markets and local agricultural economies. A Dear Colleague letter is currently circulating in support of local food and regional food economies and healthy food access in the 2018 Farm Bill. The letter focuses on the Local Agriculture Market Program and you can contact Rep. Chellie Pingree’s office to sign on.
[Your org] urges [legislator] to sign on as [your org] has directly benefited from programs included in this letter, such as the Farmers Market Promotion Program and ongoing investments in this work are critical. Please act now– the signature deadline is approaching coming soon.
Staffer contact info you can pass on if you get the opportunity / are OK leaving a longer voicemail:
- LAMP Dear Colleague: office of Rep. Chellie Pingree, Kelliann Blazek, 202-225-6116, Kelliann.Blazek@mail.house.gov
[Representative name / staffer name],
As the House of Representatives is set to return from August recess in a few days, I would like to call your attention to an important opportunities to support the agricultural community in [state].
A Dear Colleague letter that supports local and regional food economies, including farmers markets, value-added production, food safety infrastructure, and healthy food access in the 2018 Farm Bill is circulating this week. The Senate farm bill encourages new and growing agricultural markets by creating the Local Agriculture Marketing Program.
LAMP will consolidate numerous existing programs that support new market development into a single streamlined program, while maintaining the purpose and eligible entities for each existing program. LAMP would be a one-stop-shop for farmers, agricultural organizations, and other stakeholders that are seeking support for projects that help farmers reach new markets. It is critical to provide permanent mandatory funding for LAMP so that there is consistent federal investment in new and growing agricultural markets.
[Your organization] strongly supports this proposed program, and we have utilized [funding from / been a partner in / helped lead projects funded] by LAMP component program [LFPP/FMPP/VAPG/etc] in [state]. [a sentence or two about what you’ve done is helpful here!]
Please sign on to this important Dear Colleague letter that supports programs and policies critical to farmers in [state] and represent impactful investments in a better food and farm future for the communities we serve.
- The LAMP Dear Colleague (see attached) is being circulated by Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME); to sign on, please contact Kelliann Blazek at Kelliann.Blazek@mail.house.gov.
Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.