Blog for Rural America

The Center for Rural Affairs, a private, non-profit organization, is working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Permission to reprint items from this web log is hereby granted, on the condition that clear credit is given to the original source of the material. If the blog provides information for a story, please let us know by sending an email to johnc@cfra.org.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Strenthen Rural America Petition

National Rural Action Network - Strenthen Rural America Petition

Endorse Petition for a Stronger Rural America

Strengthening Rural America, Strengthens all of America

America is strongest when all of its communities are strong and all of its people have access to genuine opportunity. Rural America is a valuable part of America. But today it’s not sharing in the nation’s prosperity. It’s hurting all of America.

When rural young people are denied opportunity to build businesses, lives and careers, rural America contributes fewer taxes fewer jobs and less productivity to America.

To contribute to the nation’s prosperity, Rural America must share in it.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!
Endorse the Strengthen Rural America Petition - www.cfra.org/nran_endorse.htm

When community is weakened, the bonds that make us strong are weakened. In strong communities we’re more likely to help each other and less likely to focus on ourselves. To
uplift rural values, we must up lift rural communities.

The WalMarting of the American economy – the destruction of family farms and small business – is shrinking the rural middle class. People denied a stake in the American dream, are less likely to take responsibility for sustaining it. Strengthening the rural America strengthens all of America.

TAKE ACTION - TAKE ANOTHER STEP - TELL YOUR FRIENDS - forward this online petition to your friends, family... your e-mail contacts, your e-mails lists...anyone you can think of that cares about the future of rural America - http://www.cfra.org/nran_endorse.htm

Our goal is to gather 10,000 signatures on the Strenthen Rural America Petition and present the signatures to members of Congress in August 2006. And we need you help to make it happen!

Congress Must Act Now for Rural America!

There are practical strategies that work, strategies to revitalize 21st century rural communities. But local initiatives must be matched by federal policies that support rural revitalization, rather than hinder it. The 2007 farm bill provides one vehicle to chart a new course.

The farm program should cap farm program payments to mega farms and invest the savings in initiatives that create a future for Rural America, including:

- Provide loans, technical assistance, and business training to help rural business thrive and enable rural people to start new businesses.
- Provide incentives to sell land to beginning farmers and support initiatives to link beginners with retiring farmers and provide training on accessing alternative markets.
- Provides grants to communities to nurture small business, develop new leaders, and engage youth and foster local philanthropy to support community development.
- Beef up the Value Added Producers Grants program to help farmers tap higher value markets and add value to their products, while prioritizing family size farms.
- Invest in conservation of land and water and reward farmers and ranchers for good stewardship.

We do not have to choose between family farms and rural development. The single most effective thing the farm bill could do to strengthen family farms is to stop subsidizing mega farms to drive smaller operations out of business by capping payments. And it saves money to invest in our future.

post a question or comment here or contact John Crabtree, johnc@cfra.org

Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.

4 Comments:

  • At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I just signed the petition! I don't know if I was the first, but since I am the first to post here, I am going to claim to be the first person to sign the petition.

     
  • At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I signed the petition. and I sent the link to about 20 people.

     
  • At 4:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I just signed the petition as well. This farm bill may be one of last chances at breaking the mold of some of our old status quoa systems we have now. Let's reward our nations farmer's and ranchers for being good, not just big, as well as good stewards, not just mega fund locations. Innovative young new talent should be allowed to become part of our heritage at all possible costs to save our farms and communities from total elimination. Payment caps have to be one priority. With the emergence of our boifuels and such, while a wonderful opportunity, who ends up with the benefits of this is still in the making, and be weary of who owns all the land it takes to produce these assests in the future, will it be someone in New York, Texas...? Or will it be still in the hands of our local farmer's and rancher's who will be investing in our local communities. And we have to have a strong state and local supported strucure for our communities and farms in developing new ways to add value to our proucts.

     
  • At 8:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My husband is partner in his family farm. The farm has been in the family ever since it was established in 1710. I've been looking over those grants for Agriculture. The grants I have viewed are more for Agriculture improvements to buildings at universities. If a Farmer wanted to try to recieve some grant money to make improvements to buildings, I haven't seen such a grant. The matching grants, well just say if a farmer is taking the time looking through the various grants to try to hopefully qualify for some kind of money to help out with expenses of cost to operate without having to take out a loan, then there is pry not enough money at hand to do a matching grant. Grant money does not come without attachments, If the grant money is for an experimental process, and at the end the project doesn't operate the way it was perdicted, or there is expensive maintance cost, and the grant money is no more, then the farmer is left with a headache. If on the other hand things are a big success, and the farmer has just found another source of income to help pay costs. With the price of fuel up, and milk prices going down. Just the cost of growing a needed crop of animal feed like corn becomes extrmely expensive. I did some research and found out that ethanol can be made out of milk whey. So you get three produces, cheese, ethanol made out of the whey, and those fermenting bugs can be use to back as cattle feed additive to promote a healthy ruman function. Well we all know when demand is high and supply is low prices go high. So since I have always been told that the milk prices are low, the supply is high. The way I see it, lets tighten up the milk supply by making ethanol from the milk. Give the farmers the price they need, so, as a Farmer myself, be able to pay my operational costs, replace needed equipment, make needed improvements on buildings without having to do grants or loans, because to ask a farmer who works 24/7 to jump through hoops just to get money to do some kind of project that will take all the grant money to do and then some is asking a lot of your food producers. I also noticed that the grants available are mostly for agencies to tell the farmer just what hoops and how high the farmer has to jump. In other terms, regulated in that the farmer has to do this in order to get that. If you don't understand this message, then you haven't been the farmer put between a rock and a hard place. Farmers love the land dearly, love to farm, and to be squeezed out due to hard times, well just reach in and rip our hearts out, I know I will never be the same person if We loose the farm.

     

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