Takeaways from the Farm Bill Listening Session
Thanks to everyone who came out for our lively listening session last Thursday. It was great to get an overview of the Farm Bill (thanks to Janna Siller of Adamah Farm ) and dig into some of our priorities together. Full notes from the listening session can be found here: Farm Bill Listening Session Full Notes Some priorities on the front of farmers' minds are: -Disability accommodations for farmers that have accessibility needs -Language justice in USDA programming -To empower farmers to accept SNAP, change the fee structure so that it is a percentage of sales rather than a flat monthly fee. -Accessibility of the Farmers Market Nutrition Program -The immense shortage of processing capacity for livestock farmers. -NRCS programs are mostly tailored for big farms. They need to work on their capacity to support smaller farms and urban farms. -To make grant programs accessible to new farmers and BIPOC farmers, take out the matching requirements. Make more of the programs upfront payments instead of reimbursements.
-NRCS can be reaaaaaally slow to get grantees their money.
-USDA should fund research on farm workers and their needs
-Grant reviewers for USDA should be more diverse and should include more farmers. -More research about hemp is needed, especially research into establishing more processing facilities -Would love to see research on the intersection between agriculture and the revamping of public transportation infrastructure in the US. For more details on each of these points (and many more), check out the full notes!