Call for a Faithful Farm Bill to support vibrant rural communities and creation

April 15, 2013
Philippines Negros Nine Foundation

Farmers with the Negros Nine Foundation in the Philippines

Throughout the Bible we are called to care for God’s land, God’s people, and the whole of Creation. Images of farming abound. Throughout the Bible we are called to care for God’s land, God’s people, and the whole of Creation. Images of farming abound. Yet our world’s food security and the livelihood of farmers in jeopardy.

Pope Benedict said in his 2009 address to the United Nations, “Hunger is the most cruel and concrete sign of poverty… [We need] a network of economic institutions capable of guaranteeing regular access to sufficient food and water.”

In 2012 the Farm Bill expired and funding for vital programs disappeared. In this Easter season of renewal and hope, it is time to pass a faithful Farm Bill to support rural communities, feed hungry people with fresh, culturally appropriate food, and protect creation.

A faithful Farm Bill includes:

  • Support for Local and Regional Food Procurement Programs so that food aid is sourced from the country or region in need thus supporting local economies with culturally appropriate food and improve economic development in developing countries. It will also reduce CO2 production as food will not have to travel as far to get to people in need.
  • Support for Organic Farming Programs to reduce dependence on pesticides linked to cancer, learning and development disabilities, and reproductive health. Organic farmers are not dependent on genetically engineered seeds, which patent life and indebt farmers to big agribusinesses.
  • Support for Food Security such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or “food stamps” to feed hungry people in the United States. Support for a New Generation of Farmers including women and people of color.
  • Support Conservation Programs that allow farmers and ranchers to let a portion of their farmland lie fallow, including critical wetlands and forest ecosystems.

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