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PAN ALERT: URGENT - Updated Farm Bill Action for Californians
by Pesticide Action Network Alert
Tuesday Mar 20th, 2007 11:17 PM
TODAY, we ask that you send an immediate message to Senators Boxer and Feinstein urging them to support the “Grassley-Dorgan amendment” to the budget. http://action.panna.org/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=7046
On Monday we wrote to you (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/03/20/18380362.php) about Congressional budgeting for the U.S. 2008 budget for agricultural funding. The 2007 Farm Bill rides on this budgeting, and the issues, while complex and shifting, are vital to the future of sustainable agriculture.

TODAY, we ask that you send an immediate message to Senators Boxer and Feinstein urging them to support the “Grassley-Dorgan amendment” to the budget. http://action.panna.org/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=7046

THE OUTCOME WILL DETERMINE WHETHER $1.1 BILLION CAN BE SAVED AND SHIFTED TO CONSERVATION, RURAL DEVELOPMENT, and FOOD PROGRAMS IN THE 2007 FARM BIILL

Take Action Now! Please call and send your emails to Senators Boxer and Feinstein no later than 5pm EDT this Wednesday, March 22. Emails are a one-click action and help; phone calls have more impact at the Senators’ offices. Please do both if you can. The Senators have not yet decided how to vote; your call could make the difference.

Background:The Grassley-Dorgan amendment to the FY 2008 budget proposes a limit on subsidies to mega farms and a savings reinvestment in conservation, rural development, and food programs. The vote is expected sometime between late Thursday and Friday.

As an amendment to the budget resolution, the Grassley-Dorgan proposal is essentially a "message" amendment, putting the Senate on record as to what it would like the Agriculture Committee to do. The amendment would cap the commodity program payment at $250,000 and the savings would be used to increase budget functions that provide for conservation programs, food stamps, renewable energy and rural development in the 2007 Farm Bill. More specifically, the amendment assumes increases for the Conservation Security Program, Wetlands Reserve Program, Value-Added Producer Grants, Renewable Energy System grants, and an increase in the child care deduction for food stamp recipients. These are valuable federal programs that support family farmers, the environment, rural communities, and low-income consumers!!

Take Action Today! PAN is joining the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture, American Farmland Trust, California Coalition for Food and Farming and many other organizations in asking you to take this second, vital action as soon as possible.

Thank you!

PS: If you didn’t yet take action on our March 19 request (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2007/03/20/18380362.php ), please do that too. Thanks!

Please call Senator Boxer's office at (202) 224-3553 and ask for Brian Mckeon. If the aide is unavailable, leave a message with your name, phone number and the message below on the aide's voice mail.

Please call Senator Feinstein's agricultural aide, Kit Batten, at (202) 224-3841. Again, if they are unavailable, leave a message for them with your name, phone number, and message.