A new president takes office today. A new Congress is seated. There will be a new leader at the Department of Agriculture.
Ten months into a pandemic, change is everywhere in Washington. The stakes are high for rural communities, for small businesses, and for the people who call rural America home. The voices represented in our nation’s capital during the months ahead will help shape policy for years to come.
We need your help to ensure rural voices for justice and fairness are heard early and often. Together, we will ensure Washington hears the realities and struggles of rural America as we cope with COVID-19.
Will you make a special contribution today to champion policy and legislative priorities that will support our rural communities, conservation practices, small family farmers, renewable energy, and entrepreneurs?
With your support, the Center for Rural Affairs will be there when pandemic relief legislation is drafted and when Congress begins work on the next farm bill. Together, we’ll rise above the heated discourse, set aside differences, and work toward a vibrant future.
The shakeup in Washington goes beyond the White House. There will be new leadership of the House and Senate committees with jurisdiction over agriculture and rural development policy. New leadership at the Department of Agriculture will mean new priorities and interpretations.
Lawmakers need to hear on-the-ground reality. With your support, we helped craft both the Strengthening Local Processing Act and Rural Equal Aid Act in recent months. These bills will live or die with our efforts.
The Strengthening Local Processing Act will help small meat processors better serve livestock producers and consumers. The bill provides needed capital to help operators expand their storage and freezer space. It invests in the next generation of small meat processors by offering grants to train operators and employees, as well as establishes a program to help cover costs of achieving meat inspection guidelines.
Rural small businesses are hurting. Our goal is to win inclusion of the Rural Equal Aid Act in the next pandemic relief bill. The Rural Equal Aid Act would offer the same relief to rural businesses that have loans through the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program and the Intermediary Relending Program as borrowers of the Small Business Administration received in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This bill levels the playing field for rural small businesses and ensures the borrowers who are often women, minority, and low-income entrepreneurs are not left out.
There are many more urgent issues rural America will face in the coming months and years. Whose voice will be represented? Will you join us with a donation and with action to ensure it is your voice?
Clean energy is a priority of the new administration. We will ensure rural communities have a voice at the table for discussions of building modern, sustainable infrastructure to deliver clean energy and enable continued development of small- and large-scale renewable energy systems.
Farm bill negotiations begin with this Congress. While farm payments help family farms facing difficult times, there need to be limits on checks written to the largest corporate operations. We will champion programs like the Conservation Stewardship Program, which offers cost-share and technical assistance for conservation on working lands essential to mitigating the impact of climate change.
Immigration reform is critical and urgent, including a path for undocumented immigrants who fulfill requirements to become citizens, a more robust process for legal immigration, and enforcement of wage and labor laws to prevent employers from misclassifying workers.
Corporate interests have deep pockets and hundreds of high paid lobbyists. Rural America has us. Will you stand up for rural America with a financial gift today?
Your support will make a difference.