Thursday, March 14, 2013

Take Action: Defend Family Farmers and Protect the GIPSA Rule!

AliciaCorporate giants keep taking their swings at family farmers.

After decades of hard work by family farmers and ranchers, Farm Aid, and our many partners across the country, the USDA passed the GIPSA rule in 2012 to provide basic contract fairness protections for livestock growers. Unfortunately, the corporate meat industry launched a steady attack against this new rule, issuing a public propaganda campaign and sending in their lobbying heavyweights to dismantle the protections for growers.

We can’t let them win.

On Tuesday night, the latest threat came from a rider in the Senate Appropriations bill for the FY 2013 budget that would eliminate the final GIPSA rule. Riders are controversial policy provisions that “hitch a ride” on appropriations bills in order to avoid full and open debate on an issue before taking a bill to vote.

The GIPSA rider comes as the second brunt against family farmers in the Appropriations bill (see Joel’s post yesterday on the biotech rider also attached to the bill). Montana Senator Jon Tester plans to introduce two amendments today – one for each of the awful provisions – to remove them from the bill.

Help defend family farmers. Call your senator now and tell him/her to reject both the GIPSA and biotech riders that would threaten thousands of farmers across the country.

Here’s how to take action:

  1. Call your Senator
    Call your Senators ASAP! Be sure to state your full name, city and state. Explain why you are calling. Be polite, but firm. Call the Capitol switchboard at (877) 757-6910 to be connected to your senator or find the number here. You can use the following message:

    Hello, my name is ________ and I am a (concerned constituent or farmer). Will the Senator stand up for farmers by rejecting both the GIPSA and biotech riders included in the Senate Substitute Continuing Resolution Appropriations bill? Please support Senator Jon Tester’s Amendments 74 & 75 to H.R. 933. These two amendments will ensure that independent producers have a fair chance in the livestock market, and ensure that courts can review biotechnology products.
  2. Email your Senator
    You can locate your Senators by entering your zip code into the “Find Your Senator” widget at the top left hand side of the www.senate.gov website.
  3. Tell your Friends!
    There is power in numbers. Share this urgent action alert with your friends, family and co-workers via Facebook, Twitter and email.

Thanks! And we'll keep you posted with any news on these and other developments affecting family farmers.

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