A New Voice

Another Center for Rural Affairs staffer has jumped into the blogging world. Kathie Starkweather, another organizer here, and my boss, which means this is just the best blog post ever. Really. 

Attend a Meeting with Your Elected Officials!

Congress is in recess for the month of August, and most representatives will be holding listening sessions with constituents. The single most effective thing you can do to make a difference on the farm bill is to attend and tell your elected representatives in person exactly how you feel.

Development Matters

I know it’s August, which is a lot closer to the middle of the year than the end. But someone, back in the day, invented the concept of the fiscal year.

As of this writing, almost 2,100 individuals have given a total of nearly $103,000 with over a month to go before the end of our fiscal year and our annual campaign. Last year we raised over $100,000 in contributions from over 2,000 individual donors. We are in the middle of a fight over the 2007 farm bill. And support from people just like you helps fund our most crucial and cutting-edge work.

What Would Rural America Look Like If

Fourth in our continuing series, this month we share John Crabtree’s letter to Iowa Senator Tom Harkin about the kind of farm bill that rural America truly deserves

The farm bill debate in the U.S. House of Representatives has been, to say the least, disappointing. Increased and weakened farm payment limits will mean larger subsidy checks to the nation’s largest farm operations being used to drive more of their smaller neighbors out of business. The following are excerpts of a letter I wrote on behalf of my family to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) earlier this year.

Senator Harkin, no one will ever farm our farm again after we leave, not if things remain the way they are now. Of course, someone will till the soil, plant, and harvest. But no one will farm here; no one will live here.

Promising New Programs Part of House Farm Bill

Thanks to citizen activism, conservation, research, entrepreneurship, and beginning farm issues received a boost in the bill approved by the House ag committee

While disappointing in some significant respects, the farm bill passed out of the House of Representatives includes some promising new programs for rural America in response to the involvement of thousands of engaged rural Americans. We appreciate your efforts.


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