An Episcopal News Service Press Release Faith leaders call for new covenant with American, world farmers
tells of multi-denominational work on the reauthorization of the Depression-era farm bill. The release says in part:
The farm bill is a piece of comprehensive legislation governing U.S. farm, food, and conservation policies. Originally dating to the Great Depression of the 1930s, the farm bill must be renewed, or reauthorized, by Congress every five years. The current farm bill expires later this year and must be reauthorized by Congress by the end of 2007.
Throughout the year, the Episcopal Church has been working with a broad alliance of faith groups in Washington that includes Roman Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals, and leading advocacy organizations. The group has been calling for fundamental reforms to the farm bill, particularly the system that directs commodity subsidies (cash payments from the U.S. government) to American farmers.
Currently, more than three-quarters of U.S. commodity payments go to the largest ten percent of farms, with small and medium-sized family farms frequently left out of the system. Additionally, the U.S. commodity payment system has been judged by outside observers—including the World Trade Organization—to be unfairly distorting of world-market prices and supply in ways that violate U.S. commitments and make it harder for farmers in poor countries to feed their families....
In order to ensure that reform succeeds this time, the Episcopal Church is working with its partner denominations and advocacy organizations to organize grassroots support throughout the country. "Faith farm teams" are working in 38 key states, and Episcopalians and others have flooded congressional offices with calls, emails, and postcards.
Interested Episcopalians can sign up at faithfarmteams.com, and learn more about the farm bill at episcopalchurch.org/EPPN.
The full text of the press release and the letter to congress is online here: Faith leaders call for new covenant with American, world farmers