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NATIONAL YOUNG FARMERS COALITION

Latest from Young Farmers

Young Farmers July 2023 Newsletter

As farmers in Vermont and other areas of the Northeast face “1-in-1,000 year flooding,” we are reminded that farmers are impacted by the climate crisis every day. Season-ending floods, record-breaking heat, drought, and wildfires, and unpredictable weather patterns make an already risky business even riskier. Despite the challenges they face, the young and Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) farmers in our network are working hard to adapt, create solutions, and build resiliency on their farms.

We need structural solutions that will support young farmers and address the climate crisis head on.

Farmers should not have to choose between meeting their bottom-line and investing in conservation to protect shared resources. Small-scale farmers and ranchers have a crucial role to play in protecting our natural resources, conserving water, and improving soil health to cultivate thriving agricultural futures. With Congress negotiating 2023 Farm Bill priorities right now, we are at a crucial moment to cultivate a more sustainable future for our food and agriculture systems.

The Small Farm Conservation Act (S.2180) recently introduced in the Senate by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Peter Welch (D-VT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Angus King (I-ME), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jack Reed (D-RI), and John Fetterman (D-PA), will help more small-scale and beginning farmers implement on-farm conservation practices, while building climate resiliency through the 2023 Farm Bill.

With this bill, we are sending a clear message that small farms and ranches can continue to lead the way towards a more sustainable and equitable future for farming.

Please contact your Senators today and urge them to support the Small Farm Conservation Act and to invest in conservation for the next generation of farmers and ranchers in this country!

 

And make sure that you’re signed up for our Farm Bill Rapid Response Network so that you don’t miss next steps to support climate action, equitable land access, racial equity, farmer mental health, and USDA access and accountability in the 2023 Farm Bill.



YOUNG AND BIPOC FARMERS NEED LAND ACCESS NOW

On June 22, we celebrated a HUGE victory for our One Million Acres for the Future campaign to equitably transition farmland to the next generation of young and BIPOC farmers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the awardees of the $300 million dollar Increasing Land, Capital, and Market Access Program, 50 community-based land access projects working to improve access to land, capital, and markets for underserved farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners.

This program has resulted in $300 million in federal dollars going out the door to directly benefit community-led land access solutions, with a focus on underserved producers. This is what we mean when we talk about advancing equitable land access and USDA access and accountability, and this is work that we will continue pushing USDA to lead.

This is also a huge moment for our effort to secure and improve upon the Increasing Land, Capital, and Market Access Program through the 2023 Farm Bill, which is what our recently announced marker bill would do, the Increasing Land Access, Security, and Opportunities (LASO) Act (H.R.3955).

If you haven’t already, join our land campaign and tell your Members of Congress to support the LASO Act and land access for the next generationHelp us spread the word, share the action alert with your networks, and please let us know how this announcement is playing out in the communities and with the organizations you work with.


YOUNG FARMERS MEMBERS GET A DISCOUNT TO FELCO TOOLS!

A new season means the start of a new discount partner at Young Farmers! We are pleased to share that Young Farmers is partnering with Felco Tools to offer our members a special discount. Community Members receive 10% off, and Sustaining Members receive 15% of Felco products.

We need a 2023 Farm Bill that will improve land access for thousands of young and BIPOC farmers, and Members of Congress need to hear from YOU. Become a Young Farmers member today for as little as $1/year and add your voice to the movement calling for a brighter and more equitable future for farmers.

 

SUPREME COURT VOTES DOWN HEROES ACT

Young Farmers believes that farming is public service, and we were disappointed by the June 30, 2023 ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States: by a 6-3 vote, our country’s highest court—tasked with delivering on the promise of equal justice under law—ruled that the Biden Administration did not have the authority under the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act of 2003 to continue the debt relief program, to which 26 million applications were made last year. As stated in a previous post on debt relief, the Supreme Court could have ensured financial relief and economic possibility for millions of working, low- and middle-income Americans. For a new generation of young and Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) farmers struggling with many layered challenges, this ruling is devastating news. Read more about our reaction to the ruling on the blog.

 

YOUNG FARMERS IN THE HEADLINES

An op-ed written by Roaring Fork Chapter member Kate Brimm in Colorado was published in The Progressive: “If We Want Climate-Friendly Food, We Should Support Young Farmers.”

Three farmers in our network were featured in this piece by Forum for the Future – Jerry Jondreau, Katy Bresette, and Michael Kotutwa Johnson: “The Frontline of Indigenous Agriculture.”

An article on the Small Farm Conservation Act featuring Western Organizing Manager Evanne Caviness and Flatirons Chapter member Lauren Kelso: “Bill Introduced to Help Small Farms Access Federal Funding, Support Climate Initiatives.”

 

WELCOME NEW STAFF!

We’re excited to welcome Associate Development Director Johnna Bailey and Leigha Hollis, Executive Team Manager, to the Young Farmers team! Read more about our staff and their work here.



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