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Dairy Farmers Need Your Support


Groundbreaking Opportunity: The Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act

Is supporting your local farmer, visiting your farmers market, CSA, food coop, or other local food source important to you? What about having fresh, local food for your child’s school meals? Or as a farmer or rancher, do you want to figure out ways to add value to your food products to capitalize on sales in your community? 

There is a groundbreaking opportunity for you to support local farmers and ranchers and to ensure your local food system continues to grow.

In the coming days, we will be joining members of Congress and other farm and food advocates in introducing the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act! 

The goal of the bill is to advance the development of local and regional farm and food systems from farm to table. Local food systems not only hold potential for connecting consumers with where their food comes from, but also for boosting farm income, stimulating job creation and economic development, and meeting public health and nutrition goals.

The bill will address the needs of consumers in accessing food from their local communities and the needs of farmers and ranchers producing for local and regional markets, including infrastructure and processing capabilities. While there are growing “relocalization” efforts and local food economies are expanding across the nation, policy reforms are needed to overcome barriers and more fully capitalize on the new farming opportunities, jobs, and economic growth this sector can deliver.


Ask your two Senators and your Representative to co-sponsor the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act!

For Organizations:

If you are involved with an organization that takes positions, sign-on to endorse the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2011 (H.R.3236) and the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act (H.R. 3286, S. 1773). The last day for sign-ons is Monday, November 14th. If you have not already done so, we encourage your organization to sign on in support of these important bills that will support agricultural opportunities for new farmers, and improve access to local and regional food. 

Please click here to sign on to the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2011

Please click here to sign on to the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act

The plan is to share the letters with members of Congress so they understand the broad and expansive base pushing for policies and programs that help our nation's local agricultural producers and the next generation of American farmers and ranchers. More information on both bills can be found on our website


Attached is a list of organizations that have signed on to each bill - please spread the word if there are organizations missing from this list!


The local food bill letter reads:


Dear Members of Congress: We the undersigned fully endorse the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act (S. 1773, H.R. 3286) that was introduced on Tuesday, Nov. 1 by Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine, along with 35 original co-sponsors. The legislation helps farmers and ranchers by addressing production, aggregation, processing, marketing, and distribution needs to access growing local and regional food markets. The bill also assists consumers by improving access to healthy food. The measure provides secure farm bill funding for critically important programs that support family farms, expand new farming opportunities, create rural jobs, and invest in the local food and agriculture economy. We urge you to support this comprehensive bill that will improve upon existing farm programs to effectively foster local and regional food system development.


The beginning farmer bill letter reads:


Dear Members of Congress: We the undersigned organizations enthusiastically endorse the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act of 2011 [HR3236] that was recently introduced in the House by Rep. Walz (D-MN-1) and Rep. Fortenberry (R-NE-1). This comprehensive and forward-thinking initiative would help a new generation of farmers and ranchers enter agriculture, and we strongly support its inclusion, in its entirety, in the upcoming farm bill. The bill recognizes the urgent need to address the aging of American agriculture and at the same time to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the rising interest in farming among an increasingly diverse set of new farmers. In doing so, the bill addresses the credit, conservation, research, and training needs of beginning farmers and ranchers. It would improve existing credit programs so they are accessible for young and beginning farmers, reauthorize important conservation programs that foster new life-long stewards of the land, and invest in research and training to encourage innovative strategies for land transfer and farm entry. The bill also invests farm bill dollars in beginning farmer development grants with a new priority on military veterans, in an innovative individual development accounts pilot program, and in value added producer grants that will increase market opportunities and profitability for new farmers. We urge you to support this innovative and much-needed initiative to tackle a pressing concern that too often in the past has been talked about but not acted upon. We look forward to working with you to ensure this initiative is enacted into law as part of the new farm bill.


Thank you!!


Amy Little, Organizer
NESAWG , the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group
845-255-0822 home office
845-853-3440 cell