Members of Growhio were fortunate to attend, along with many urban ag and local food champions and advocates, to participate in a discussion on child nutrition and urban agriculture with Congresswoman Marcia Fudge today. Fudge was recently named to the Committee on Agriculture. The panel also included Morgan Taggart and Amanda Block of OSU Extension and Daryl Rush from the City of Cleveland Department of Community Development.
The discussion touched on new and ongoing urban agriculture projects, including the Urban Innovation Zone, community gardens and distribution models such as City Fresh. It touched on policy (farm subsidies) and budget. It touched on existing grants and resources and needed tools. But the main takeaway from the discussion is that although Congresswoman Fudge hears us and is advocating on our behalf in Committee, the rest of the Agriculture committee members (and all representatives near and far, and not just in our district for that matter) need to hear from us.
Silence is getting us nowhere. Email, phone or fax other members of the Agriculture committee and tell them that subsidies to large corporate farms must end so that small farmers can compete and people can get access to fresh, healthy and safe food at affordable prices. For a primer on how these subsidies distort our "free-market" economy and pervert pricing, watch King of Corn.
If you want a copy of the 2012 farm bill or any bill of importance to you, reach out to Fudge's office. The Congresswomen will consider your suggested edits to legislation if you provide them to her office.
We can effect change, but we have to speak up.