Submitted by Irene Kaufman on Fri, 03/02/2018 – 8:47am
Do you want to make a difference in your local community? Connecting farmers with the local consumers is a great way to help a community thrive. By creating and supporting new markets for farmers to sell locally, the community benefits with healthier foods, healthier lands, and a healthier economy.
Every five years, Congress reviews and amends the Farm Bill, an omnibus bill encompassing food and agricultural policies. This bill controls things like crop insurance, SNAP benefits, subsidies, environmental conservation, and other things that directly impact both rural communities, as well as the rest of the country’s livelihoods.
Part of this bill, the Local FARMS Act will support American family farmers by:
- Helping farmers reach new markets through outreach, cost-share, and technical assistance programs
- Increasing access to fresh, healthy, local food among low-income groups and communities in need
- Developing new and strengthening existing infrastructure that connects producers to consumers
Here in Illinois, we have a unique opportunity to help make this happen! We have three members of Congress from Illinois on the House Agriculture Committee. This gives us a chance to have our voices heard and impact our communities. By writing letters to your representative, you can let them know what matters most!
The Illinois Stewardship Alliance has made it easier than ever to help guide you in writing a letter! If you can, it is most effective to write an old-fashioned hand written letter, but calling or emailing is still helpful.
Here is a link with tips and ideas for writing to your legislator about the Local FARMS Act
If you want to make even more of an impact, consider hosting a “Dishing on the Farm Bill” party. Illinois Steward Alliance will send someone to your party (for free) to talk about the Farm Bill in a fun environment and provide the tools your guests need to write letters. They also have tips for hosting an event, invites, and menu inspiration.
Here in Champaign Rodney Davis is our representative, so I’ve provided the address for his hometown district office:
Taylorville District Office
108 W. Market St.
Taylorville, IL 62568
If you are unsure of your district or representative to contact, it’s easy to find out here.