For Immediate Release
May 10, 2012
CLEVELAND URBAN FARMER TESTIFIES BEFORE HOUSE AGRICULTURE SUBCOMMITEE AT INVITATION OF CONGRESSWOMAN FUDGE
"URBAN AGRICULTURE IS HERE TO STAY AND URBAN FARMERS DESERVE ACCESS TO CREDIT AND OTHER USDA PROGRAMS THAT TRADITIONAL FARMERS RECEIVE."
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In what may be a first for the House Agriculture Committee, Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) invited an urban farmer from Cleveland to testify today before the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight & Credit of which she is the Ranking Member.
Michael Walton, co-owner of Tunnel Vision Hoops and League Park Market Place in Cleveland testified at a hearing to discuss the reauthorization of the Farm Bill and USDA credit programs.
"Based on testimony received, including that from Mr. Michael Walton, a Cleveland agricultural entrepreneur, it is clear that USDA does not consider the unique needs of non-traditional farmers when developing its credit programs," said Congresswoman Fudge.
"Urban farmers are legitimate agricultural producers who happen to live and farm outside of the traditional rural environment. They are filling an increasingly important role in the economic well being of urban areas, and provide healthy nutrition for many who would otherwise not have access to it. Yet time and time again, producers in the Eleventh Congressional District and other urban areas across this nation have expressed valid frustration, particularly with the USDA credit programs. Access to credit can make or break rural farm operations, and urban farm operations are no different.”
The Farm bill is currently being updated. Congresswoman Fudge is urging colleagues on the Agriculture Committee to give serious consideration to the needs of urban farmers.