June 11-13, 2018: Farmers Head to D.C. to Demand Justice in the Farm Bill

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WHO:

Wes Shoemyer, MO, Family Farm Action
Chris Petersen, IA, Organization for Competitive Markets
Kara Boyd, VA, Assoc. of American Indian Farmers
John Boyd, VA, National Black Farmers Association
Carrie Balkcom, CO, American Grassfed Association
Lynn Wolff, ND, North Dakota Citizens Sustainability League
Web Davis, MO, Missouri NAACP
Dee Greene, MN, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
Randy Duggar, IN, Indiana Farmers Union
Marty Henderson, IL, Peace Garden & Farms

WHAT:

A fly-in to Washington D.C. to advocate for Farm Bill policies that allow an opportunity for U.S. farmers and ranchers to participate in fair and open markets. Two issues on the agenda include checkoff program reform and stopping the “King Amendment” to the Farm Bill.

Attendees will deliver a petition to the office of Representative Steve King (R-IA) voicing strong opposition to King’s H.R. 4879. The legislation, included in the House version of the Farm Bill, would wipe out most state and local laws regarding the production or manufacture of agricultural products, only to benefit a few corporate agribusiness interests. Fly-in participants will urge members of Congress to reject the unacceptable current version of the House Farm Bill altogether.

Attendees will also deliver the message of over 90 farm and food groups urging members of the Senate to include meaningful commodity checkoff reform in its version of the Farm Bill. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) plan to introduce the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming (OFF) Act, S. 741, when the bill reaches the Senate floor. S. 741 would bring transparency and accountability to the checkoff programs by prohibiting lobbying, reining in conflicts of interest, and stopping anti-competitive activities that harm other commodities and consumers. It would also force checkoff programs to publish their budgets and undergo periodic audits so that farmers and ranchers know where their hard-earned money is going.

WHEN & WHERE:

Tuesday, June 12
8:30               Press availability for farmer interviews (contact us for scheduling)
11:00-11:30   Petition drop at Representative Steve King’s Office, 2210 Rayburn Office Building
1:30-4:30       Press availability to accompany farmers in Congressional meetings

Wednesday, June 13
8:30               Press availability for farmer interviews

MEDIA CONTACT: Angela Huffman, ahuffman@competitivemarkets.com, 614-390-7552

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Family Farm Action is a coalition of family-farmers and advocates building the “political muscle” to fight for farmers and rural communities.

Organization for Competitive Markets is a membership-based research and advocacy organization working for open and competitive markets and fair trade in America’s food and agricultural sectors.

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