New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee
June 2018 Postcard Campaign:
UPDATED: The Senate Farm Bill is here on June 13th! The time to call and write is June 13th-June 20th!
Let Senator Cassidy know how you feel about our local farms and everyone's right to good food in the next Farm Bill!
Postcards sent en masse throughout the month of June (New Orleans Eat Local Month) will deliver a message of hope and encouragement from farmers, agricultural and food stakeholders, and regular citizens (we all eat). If you are in support of food-farmers and food-eaters in Louisiana, you can advocate for them.
The Farm Bill impacts our food system because it determines how federal money is spent on farming and food access programs. These are a few groups and programs that are specifically relevant to the Louisiana and New Orleans food systems:
- Urban farmers
- Young and new farmers
- Nutrition/food assistance to low-income households
- Local food marketing and promotion programs that provide benefits to farmer and consumer through fresh food marketplaces
- Small farmers growing food crops sold into local market; they use conservation programs, micro-loan programs, and value-added producer grants to grow their farms into strong, sustainable businesses.
How can you write an effective postcard?
- Check the sidebar for resources and facts for inspiration
- Keep postcard message simple: choose one topic you want to be heard about, and support it with 1-2 personal details or facts about Louisiana’s food system
- It's okay to write many postcards for many thoughts!
- Include your address so Sen. Cassidy knows you are a Louisiana constituent
- Try to use a postcard from Louisiana to show state pride and add relevance
- Mail it by June 21st (to ensure June delivery) to the nearest office, or to Senator Cassidy's D.C. headquarters
Senator Cassidy's Homepage (with all offices listed)
Urban Agriculture This bill mandates specific urban farmer support by Federal Government; resources that are currently available to farmers are located in rural areas and biased toward rural farmer experiences, while urban farmers face unique challenges and lack support services to address them. A group of Louisiana organizations has written a list of reasons to support this legislation, and provides a space to ask for Senator Cassidy to Co-Sponsor the Urban Agriculture Act.
Next Generation in Agriculture Act of 2018 The average age of a farmer in Louisiana in 2012 was 58.5 (1). This legislation would enhance training and support programs to ensure a new generation of Louisiana farmers can grow food and care for our land. There are two chapters of National Young Farmers Coalition in this state, one in New Orleans and one covering other parts of the state.
Louisiana State Data from Economic Research Service including Food Security, Farmland Acreage, and Farm Economic Indicators. 67% of the number of farms in Louisiana made under $10,000 in sales in 2012; the average size of a farm was 281 acres (2). Senator Cassidy should consider the impact of crop insurance and grant and loan programs as they relate to small-scale producers.
Louisiana State Ag Data from National Agriculture Statistics Survey dives deeper into value and ranking of Louisiana crops. Food crops are noticeably low-value on these charts. In order to feed ourselves locally and support our food farmers, the Farm Bill should ensure small, food-crop farmers have access to support and programs.
Farm Bill Tracker