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Monday, June 11, 2007

Call your representative today!

Below is a letter I received from the religious arm of the One Campaign. I urge my readers to act on this. I've studied this issue and I can tell you that the current U.S. agricultural subsidies are pricing third-world farmers out of the market and worsening the hunger problem (especially in Africa). Not to mention the policy is very hypocritical considering that the U.S. government is the single greatest promoter of trade liberalization in the world today. This is an issue of economic justice of Biblical proportions (think the Prophet Amos).

This week, hundreds of Bread members from around the country have gathered in Washington for The Gathering 2007. On Tuesday, they'll walk the halls of Congress to let their representatives know that it's time for a new farm bill!

Even if you won't be able to make it to Washington, you can still be a part of Lobby Day. We are asking all Bread members to call their senators and representative on Lobby Day, June 12. At the end of the day on Tuesday, we want all of Capitol Hill to be talking about Bread for the World and the need for broad reform of the farm bill!

Please call your senators and representative on Tuesday, June 12 at 1-800-826-3688. Find out who your members are. [Note: This toll-free number will connect you to the Capitol switchboard, where you will ask to be connected to your senator or representative's office in order to relay your message.]

Ask your member of Congress to reform the farm bill to better meet the needs of hungry and poor people. With changes in commodity payment programs, the farm bill can:

provide more targeted and equitable support for U.S. farmers;
strengthen communities in rural America;
provide an adequate, nutritious diet for hungry people in this country;
make U.S. food aid more effective and efficient and,
remove obstacles to poor farmers in developing countries working to earn their way out of poverty.
We've reached a critical point for the consideration of this farm bill. This is it – it's crunch time. Subcommittees in the House of Representatives will be writing both the nutrition and commodity titles of the farm bill this week.

Both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees will be marking up the complete farm bill later this month. In July, we expect the bill to go to the floor. This means you'll be hearing from us frequently over the next six weeks – especially if you live in the district of a member of the Agriculture Committee. We'll be emailing updates and asking you to act quickly. Please check our website, www.bread.org , frequently for the latest information and actions.

Taking on the farm bill is one of Bread for the World's most ambitious – and challenging – campaigns to date. We have already had huge success this year with broad calls for reform in the media and promising conversations with members of Congress. Now is the time your call can make a difference.

None of us can do it alone, but together, and across many faith traditions, we can raise our voices to see that hungry people are fed. We can urge those who act in our name to tackle hunger on a grand scale, and do so with our blessings. If we want fields ripe for harvest, we must first sow the seeds. Let's get busy sowing. Let's help farmers and end hunger.

2 comments:

Dan Owens said...

Mr. Taylor,
I greatly appreciate your post on the Farm Bill. I work for the Center for Rural Affairs, and while we are not a faith group some of our best friends in the fight for justice in the farm bill are many faith organizations.
Our top priority is closing the loopholes in farm program payment limits. Unlimited subsidy checks give the largest, most aggressive farms the money to expand endlessly and drive their neighbors off the land. This issue has been around some time; one of my favorite quotes is Isaiah 5:8-

Woe to those who join house to house, who lay field to field, until there is no room, and you are made to dwell alone in the midst of the land! [WEB]

Thanks again, Dan Owens, www.cfra.org

Aaron D. Taylor said...

Thank you Mr. Owens for your comment. May God bless you as you defend the oppressed.