Take action for a just and climate-smart food system… even if you aren’t following all the complexities taking place on Capitol Hill! We are tracking opportunities for the Jewish community to tip the scales toward effective policy. Join our advocacy alert list and we’ll call you to action (well, we’ll email you to action) whenever a groundswell of grassroots voices would make a difference. Does calling your legislator and asking them to support, or oppose, an upcoming bill sound intimidating? We’ll make it easy by providing a clear script. You don’t need any prior understanding of what a filibuster is or what political infighting is happening in which relevant subcommittees! Does commenting on a Department of Agriculture rulemaking process sound kind of boring? We’re not going to lie, it is. But with our help, it will take only five minutes or less out of your day! 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 mostly manifested as stories of individuals joining together to collectively do the small, and sometimes boring, and sometimes intimidating, work. Agriculture […]
Topic: Farm Bill
It is springtime on the farm which means that seedlings are sprouting in the greenhouse, the peepers are singing at dusk in Lake Miriam at Isabella Freedman, and lovers of food and earth are calling congress about agricultural appropriations. Thanks to millions of grassroots actions, the 2018 Farm Bill was passed with many important programs for sustainable agriculture and healthy eating. However, many of those programs need to be funded annually by Congress through the appropriations process. Appropriations is a process full of nitty-gritty details and back-and-forths so it can seem off-putting to engage with. However, urging a healthier and more sustainable world for everybody hinges on it and you can participate without going cross-eyed with the fine print! Below is a script that we at Hazon recommend you use when calling your member of Congress. You can read more about each of the issues, however, you don’t have to to make a difference and call! While your individual Senator or Representative might not be on the agricultural appropriations committee and thus might not have influence over the draft appropriations bill, it is very useful for them to know where you stand as a constituent so they can make public […]
Important food and farm policy work moved forward this winter amid all of the daunting political news. On December 20th the 2018 Farm Bill became law. The law’s passage was a win simply in that it allowed the continued function of crucial programs that address issues like hunger prevention and price stabilization. Thanks to widespread public advocacy, there were also specific wins for sustainability. Keep reading to learn more about the good and bad of the law, about the work ahead in influencing implementation, and crucial action steps you can take today. If you don’t have time or energy to absorb the details of our update but want to join the throngs of individual citizens nudging those in power toward a more equitable and climate-friendly food system, you can skip to the script at the end and call your legislators! The overwhelming state of our national politics won’t stop the Jewish community from participating in the greatest work of our generation: combating climate change and inequity. Update Passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which became law on December 20th, was critical to the continued basic functions of the farming and food systems in the U.S. Hazon applauds lawmakers for slugging their […]
Our tradition teaches us to open up the corners of our harvest through pe’ah and to attune ourselves to the needs of land for rest and restoration through shmita. We at Hazon are therefore greatly relieved that the recently passed Farm Bill maintains food assistance access for those in need rather than imposing draconian work requirements and that it preserves programs that incentivize farmers to reduce erosion and increase soil carbon. The shift to an incoming house of representatives that is more committed to preserving food assistance and conservation funding after the 2018 midterm elections pressured the current congress to pass a farm bill that is more of a status quo than the conservation-slashing, poverty-worsening revamp that many in the house pushed for this summer. Thanks to high voter turnout in November and a huge wave of phone calls to our representatives from farmers and eaters alike, small but crucial programs will be funded rather than eliminated including organic research, the local agriculture market program, and supports for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers. Another huge win is that, despite a few concessions to the timber industry, the push toward legalizing expanded clear cutting was not included in the bill. And yet the relief […]
A few weeks ago we wrote about the hugely important Farm Bill. Well, the 2014 Farm Bill has now expired and our legislators have postponed taking any action until after the mid-term elections. This means several valuable programs are immediately unfunded and the direction that our food system takes in the coming years depends hugely on who wins in November. We encourage you to read the brief update that we’ve pasted below from the National Young Farmers Coalition and take action on this important issue, and to make sure you and your community are all registered and ready to vote. We’ll continue to keep you updated when Congress picks the Farm Bill back up. On September 30th Congress allowed the 2014 Farm Bill to expire without a new bill in place or an extension passed. Thus, the following key programs, among others, will no longer be funded: Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) Outreach and Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (2501) Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives (FINI) Program National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program (NOCCSP) Rural Microentrepreneur […]
Thursday, September 20, 2018 | 11 Tishrei 5779 Dear All, I hope you had a good and strong Yom Kippur. Someone yesterday asked me: how do we take all this intensity and good intentions and vulnerability and desire to change and actually integrate that into our real lives? And my immediate response – which, on reflection, I think was absolutely right – was that’s exactly what Sukkot is for. Because here is this festival – Sukkot – which literally celebrates our new openness. Instead of just walling ourselves off from other people and other issues we open ourselves to our neighbors and the world around us. And now, instead of teshuva done in a necessarily heavy way – noting our failures, apologizing, promising to do better – now we have a sense of our best selves and so we do teshuva from a place of joy and celebration. So – may your best intentions for yourself come to fruition. And if you fail – get back on the horse. And that’s literally the perfect segue to two things. First – the Hazon Book Club. I told you that for the first time ever we were inviting people to read a […]
When 2012 was coming to a close, the government was in the process of making series decisions about whether to jump off the fiscal cliff or turn around and climb down.One of the central tenets of this challenge is, of course, food. The 2008 Farm Bill expired at the end of September 2012, and a new one has not yet been set in place, which could cause reversion to a 1949, Farm Bill, which was the last time long-term legislation was passed. The cost of not extending parts of the 2008 Farm Bill or passing a new one for 2013, is that milk was said to sky rocket to approximately $7 per gallon from the average $3.65 per gallon it costs now. In 2012, the Democrat-controlled Senate drafted a version of a new Farm Bill for 2013, which the Republican-controlled House rejected followed by a failure to come up with their own version. With time running out and the threat of sky-rocketing dairy prices, Senate voted on January 1 to extend parts of the 2008 farm bill through September 2013, to keep the cost of dairy down. Parts of the Farm Bill regarding organic and sustainable agriculture, were left of […]
New York September 28th 2012 / 12th Tishrei 5773 Dear All, Sukkot starts on Sunday. It’s one of my favorite holidays: Sitting in a succah; the lulav and etrog; celebrating the harvest; feeling exposed to the world – in good ways; thinking about relationship to place – both locally, and in relation to Israel. Celebrating the change of season. Liz and I are going to Isabella Freedman for Sukkahfest this Sunday – Freedman being the perfect place to spend Sukkot, as the New England leaves start to change color; and Sukkot being the perfect time to be at Isabella Freedman, especially since this year the succah, which is huge and beautiful, has a solid foundation, and thus won’t slide into the mud if it rains, which the weather forecast says is statistically unlikely. (Sukkahfest is almost sold-out, but to get one of the last reservations, or to join a list for cancellations, check Isabella Freedman’s website.) (more…)
Just to recap: Congress left DC in July with a Farm Bill mess: 5-year Farm Bill legislation was moved aside in the House for a Disaster Relief Bill, which was turned into discussion about a one-year short term bill while the Senate was holding on to the version of the Farm Bill they passed in June. Ultimately, the session closed and the two houses couldn’t agree on what type of bill to pass, let alone what the details of the bill would be. (more…)
Like many predicted, the house could not pass a new farm bill before their five-week recess, which does not end until after Labor day.
Because of the devastating drought happening in our country, House leaders are finally working to create a short-term bill that would aid farmers, mainly in the Midwest, whose cropland has been hit hard. With 55% of the nation’s pasture and land in very poor condition, and an addition 76 counties in 6 states being called ‘drought disaster areas’, the House cannot wait any longer to act. However, it’s still unclear whether or not lawmakers will use this opportunity to renew existing agriculture programs, or just pass a disaster bill that would give short-term relief to cattle, pork and poultry farmers, since many programs that once helped those farmers expired last year. (more…)
While the final 2012 Farm Bill may still be a long ways away, there is lots happening every week!
While the final 2012 Farm Bill may still be a long ways away, there is lots happening every week!
Learn more about the Farm Bill and how its policies impact your daily food choices.
Deborah Newbrun,Hazon Bay Area Director, asks, “What is the Farm Bill, and why is it a Jewish issue?”