House members urge inclusion of local ag in farm bill conference report
A bipartisan coalition of 43 House members led by Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, on Tuesday sent the chairs and ranking member of the House and Senate agriculture committees a letter requesting inclusion of the Local Agriculture Market Program in the farm bill conference report.
LAMP would consolidate numerous existing programs that support new market development into a single streamlined program with permanent, mandatory funding.
“Across the country, farmers are looking for new markets as they deal with trade uncertainty and a strained farm economy,” Pingree said. “Meanwhile, consumer interest in growing markets, such as local food, is creating new opportunities for farmers in their own communities. While USDA has a number of successful programs to help farmers take advantage of these new market opportunities, they can be hard to navigate, and funding remains uncertain year-to-year. Putting these programs under one roof and solidifying funding would go a long way toward helping more farmers and organizations reliably access them. As conference committee members work out a final farm bill, including LAMP would be a sure-fire way for them to effectively support agricultural economic growth.”
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition said “LAMP will light the path forward for our nation’s family farmers.”
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I have been rather preoccupied lately and haven’t been writing my editor’s note. So, for those who have called and emailed to make sure I’m still on this Earth, I’m still here.