Your invitation to invest in a vision, and a voice
The food processing and sales industry spent almost $29 million on lobbying in 2011, with more than 1,000 lobbyists on file. This does not even include the many millions more spent to lobby on behalf of commodity crops, dairy, livestock, farm machinery, or chemicals.
This week, the Senate Agriculture Committee is reviewing the Chairwoman’s draft of the Farm Bill, undergoing what is known here in DC as a “mark up.” The Farm Bill could support the capacity-building and strength of farmers markets for the next five years… or not. And the difference, in many ways, is up to you.
This is why FMC exists: to give farmers markets a voice, especially while market organizers and farmers are busy growing healthy food futures for their communities. In a city like Washington, DC, this is the voice of common sense win-win solutions for our nation’s communities– whether they’re rural, urban, or somewhere in between. We don’t have or want an army of lobbyists swarming the halls of Congress to make the case for farmers and farmers markets, but we DO need YOU if we’re going to stay on top of emerging issues and inform smart public policies.
Six weeks from today, the Farmers Market Coalition will celebrate its sixth anniversary. So it’s with a great sense of purpose that today, I am announcing the launch of FMC’s 2012 Spring Campaign. Between now and this special anniversary on June 6th, the board has a goal of raising $20,000 to help FMC start its next fiscal year on the right foot. The Farmers Market Coalition is not a coalition without the investment of everyone who wants to see farmers markets grow stronger and more sustainable with every season. This is why I volunteer my time with FMC, and why I make a contribution every year to support a voice for this important national movement.
FMC wants to be the best voice we can be for the farmers market community. Please join me in supporting FMC’s vision to be a better voice. With you at our side, I’m confident that the coming year will be the brightest yet for FMC, and the farmers markets and farmers we serve.
I hope that, when you invest in FMC at any level, you also invite other members of your community to contribute to this special annual campaign– especially the farmers and producers who sell at farmers markets in your community.
That’s why, today, we are announcing a Farmer Ambassador Challenge! Here’s the deal: between now and the end of the campaign (June 6th), the FMC member organization who recruits the most farmers/producers/vendors to become members of FMC will receive a free full registration for the International Public Markets Conference, September 21st-23rd in Cleveland, Ohio (made possible by our friends at the Project for Public Spaces). To make it easier to spread the word among farmers, FMC will provide a “social media cheat sheet” to members, with quick, cut and paste language they can use to share their coalition pride with the farmers and food producers in their region! Don’t miss out on this exciting challenge by making sure you are a member today!
With best wishes for a healthy and bountiful farmers market season,
President, Farmers Market Coalition