FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jessica Manly, National Young Farmers Coalition
firstname.lastname@example.org, 518-643-3564 ext. 722
Washington, D.C. (December 22, 2021) Passage of the Build Back Better Act is an existential issue for the farmers in our coalition. Climate action is their number one priority because climate change threatens their livelihoods and the future of their farms. Young farmers live the consequences of climate inaction, as extreme weather, drought, and pest pressure impact their ability to feed their communities on a daily basis.
“Our farmers are uncompromising in their stewardship practices,” said Sophie Ackoff, co-executive director of the National Young Farmers Coalition. “They are making massive investments of their time, their energy, and their careers to create the infrastructure of a resilient future. We need our policymakers to match their commitment.”
Thanks to the advocacy of our coalition of over 200,000 individuals and our partners, Build Back Better includes over $28 billion for agricultural solutions to climate change. This is a 45% increase in funding for USDA conservation programs, relative to the 2018 Farm Bill projected cost. This investment would mobilize USDA conservation programs to support climate-smart agriculture, enabling farmers to mitigate climate change and build resiliency against the worst impacts of climate change.
Build Back Better would address not only climate change, but the critical barrier of land access, particularly for Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) farmers. The bill includes $200 million to address land loss and improve land access. But more importantly, by increasing overall farm bill spending, we have a greater opportunity to win a historic investment in equitable land transition in the 2023 Farm Bill. With Build Back Better, our vision for One Million Acres for the Future is possible.
Passing Build Back Better is also necessary for supporting BIPOC and other under-resourced farmers. The bill includes $12 billion of FSA debt relief for economically-distressed farmers and technical assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers. These farmers cannot wait for relief as their debts come due in January.
Our farmers are close to losing hope in their ability to feed our country. On behalf of our coalition of working farmers, we urge Senators to return to Washington in January to move forward quickly with this once-in-a-generation investment in our future, and we look forward to working with them in this goal.