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Hazon Farm Bill Campaign

Join Hazon in Advocating for a Just and
Climate Resilient 2023 Farm Bill!

The once-every-five-years Farm Bill authorization process is in full swing! This presents an historic opportunity to lower the nearly one third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions spewed by the food system; to reshape food production and distribution toward justice and equity; and to lean into Jewish food and farming wisdom that paints a vision of food sovereignty. Join the robust movement that is building on recently passed climate legislation- there has never been a better time for working together on behalf of our food future!

A Just and Climate-Friendly Farm Bill Could…

  • bring emissions from the food system to net-zero by 2040
  • incentivize conservation agriculture to address erosion, pollution, and water use
  • reduce food waste
  • increase equitable access to healthy, fresh food
  • uplift community-led land use and food sovereignty
  • prioritize racial justice in land access and throughout the food system
  • increase nutrition security by helping farmers adapt to a changing climate

Farm Bill Advocacy Timeline:

🥕 Fall of 2022 is election season and there is a lot on the line. Turnout in these upcoming midterm elections will foretell what kind of climate action we get in the 2023 Farm Bill, among a great deal else. What to do at this critical moment?

🥕 Winter of 2022-23 will be a great time to encourage our representatives to support The Agriculture Resilience Act, a roadmap for reducing emissions from agriculture to net-zero by 2040. This bill lays the groundwork for centering climate action and equity in the Farm Bill process moving forward. 

🥕 Spring of 2023 we will likely have drafts of the Farm Bill coming out of the House and Senate agriculture committees by spring. Sign up for our advocacy alert email list and keep an eye out for opportunities to weigh in with your legislators.

🥕 Fall of 2023 we hope to see passage of a robust bill full of climate solutions and justice initiatives by the time the 2018 bill expires on September 20th 2023. 

What’s so Jewish about Food Policy Advocacy?

Jewish tradition teaches us only to consume food that is “fit to eat” (a literal translation of the Hebrew word “kosher”). In a complex, interconnected world, the food options available to us are often the products of labor and planetary exploitation. When we speak up about the policies that shape food production, we are engaging in the very Jewish practice of connecting the dots between our food and our values. 

Take a noodle kugel- were the farmers who grew the wheat in the noodles incentivized to store carbon in the soil or to release it to the sky? Whether you use your bubbe’s recipe or the one you had to scroll past fifteen ads to find, you won’t have much influence on those noodles unless you speak up about the 2023 Farm Bill! Were the watersheds surrounding the chickens who laid the eggs that bound the noodles together polluted by nitrates from the chicken manure, or were they protected via a well-researched regenerative system? Were the workers who harvested the raisins exposed to toxic pesticides, and was the soil that hosted the grape vines fertilized with greenhouse gas intensive fertilizers? Having a voice in the 2023 Farm Bill process is your path to making a difference for the story behind your kugel and thus, determining how fit to eat the food on your shabbos table might be.

Jewish heroism has never been limited to the story of young David with a loaded slingshot or Judah Maccabee with his shield. Our work on behalf of a just and abundant future has consistently manifested as stories of individuals joining together to collectively do the small, and sometimes boring, and sometimes intimidating, work of manifesting the world we seek. 

Building on centuries of Jewish wisdom, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel Z”L said that “The opposite of good is not evil; the opposite of good is indifference. In a free society where terrible wrongs exist, some are guilty, but all are responsible.”

Terrible, fixable wrongs exist in the food system. Thirty five million people in the U.S. confronted hunger in 2019 while 30-40% of food produced was wasted, accounting for millions of tons of unnecessary pollution and trillions of gallons of irrigation water used to no effect.

While Heschel left us guidance on combating indifference and taking responsibility, he also taught us to wake up in the morning and feel the radical amazement of being alive, to seek happiness through wonder. Protecting our beautiful world and our beautiful food and our beautiful species goes hand in hand with the experience of marveling at our opportunity to do so. Join us in eschewing the practice of doom scrolling through all that is wrong in favor of the very Jewish twin practices of action and awe.  

Further Reading

Want to learn more about the brilliant work being done around food system reform and the opportunities ahead of us? Check out some recommended resources here

Workshops

We’ll be hosting several Farm Bill campaign workshops this winter. Stay tuned for dates to learn more about the Farm Bill as a vehicle for creating a more just and climate resilient food system!

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