Keep your Farmer Alive!

      Posted On: June 16, 2011

Immediate Action Needed to Protect Local and Regional Food Systems!
Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives began voting on its agriculture appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2012.  Last morning, Representative Foxx (North Carolina) offered an amendment AGAINST local and regional foods – to remove all support for the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, which uses existing funds and resources to improve local and regional food systems.

As you may know, KYF is not a budget item but a vehicle in which to coordinate departments within the USDA to achieve local food goals. This program has been at the heart of the USDA’s work and we have all seen the impact in our local communities.

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (ME) has introduced an amendment to counter this language, striking any use of funds to fulfill the additional and burdensome reporting requirements proposed for KYF. See a link at the bottom of this post to view the amendment. Chellie spoke on the house floor today on the bill, opposing language in theAgriculture Appropriations Bill that “criticizes and attempts to hamstring efforts that are currently underway at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to create jobs, increase farm income, and bolster our economy through the development of local and regional food systems.  We are offering a no-cost amendment to counter these criticisms and ensure that USDA is able to continue its crucial work.”

Help keep your farmer in business, and our local food system strong!

Go to and type in your zip code or call (202) 225-3121 to get connected to yourRepresentative. Once  connected, ask to speak with the person in charge of agriculture. When possible, give specific examples of how Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food, as a portal to programs like FMPP, is helpful to you.

Watch her video here:

Please call your Representative and ask them to vote “yes” for Pingree’s amendment.

Time is of the essense, so please call first thing!

Thanks for your support, and thanks to Congresswoman Pingree’s office and to staff at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition for working with her on this important amendement.

p.s. You have until Friday June 17th to nominate a market to be recognized by FMC as a shining star during National Farmers Market Week.  Market self-nominations are welcome!  The call for nominations is quick, easy, and right here!  Contact Liz Comiskey if you have any questions about the process.