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American Farmland Trust supports new farm policy direction

Agriculture.com Staff 10/18/2006 @ 9:04am

The American Farmland Trust (AFT) agrees with the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's (SAC) call for new farm policies that strengthen agriculture, the environment and rural development.

"AFT supports the new direction in SAC's farm bill platform. We join them in calling on Congress to construct policies and programs that promote economic opportunity, environmental stewardship, and rural prosperity," says AFT President Ralph Grossi. "The release of the SAC platform is one more example that a diverse and growing consensus is emerging among farmers and ranchers, conservationists and the public in support of a new farm policy that benefits everyone."

Many of the recommendations in the SAC report titled, "No Time for Delay: A Sustainable Agriculture Agenda for the 2007 Farm Bill” parallel those recommended by AFT in its "Agenda 2007: A New Framework and Direction for U.S. Farm Policy” released in May. These include recommendations to assist beginning farmers and provide opportunities for minority farmers; to expand and improve working lands conservation programs; and to support farm entrepreneurship, rural development and better diets for our citizens.

Momentum continues to build for change in U.S. farm policy, AFT leadership asserts.

"With new marker bills being introduced in Congress, proposals and recommendations being put forth, we're beginning to see what that change could look like—improved safety net programs, expanded conservation, support for farmers and ranchers left out of past farm bills, increased access to healthier diets and a greater emphasis on entrepreneurship, new markets and renewable fuels," adds Grossi. "The best thing that could happen is for all of us to realize that the 2007 farm bill is once-in-a-lifetime chance to transform public policy into something that works, and we shouldn't let that opportunity escape -- we must get involved."

The American Farmland Trust (AFT) agrees with the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's (SAC) call for new farm policies that strengthen agriculture, the environment and rural development.

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