Thursday, January 22, 2009

Get the word out

From the American Farmland Trust. This is "9 in 09," their set of nine policy recommendations to the Obama Administration to, in their words, "help shape a better, brighter, and more secure future for American farms, farmers and consumers."

1. Recognize that agriculture can play a critical role in reducing greenhouse gases.
2. Engage agricultural producers in their efforts to improve water quality.
3. Mitigate against the loss of strategic agricultural resources and stimulate the development of green infrastructure to support the local agricultural economy with any new transportation-related legislation.
4. Support proper implementation of the Farmland Protection Program and its full funding.
5. Protect and promote farm bill regional food system programs.
6. Reduce, even mitigate, the federal government’s role in farmland conversion.
7. Provide timely research to policymakers about impacts of current and projected land use trends on national food and energy security.
8. Create a Farmer Corps to stimulate green jobs in the agricultural economy and encourage a new generation to enter agriculture.
9. Support local food in school cafeterias and provide access to it for low income consumers through Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Acts.

As best I can tell, this is a "get the word out" campaign. A friend told me recently that Michael Pollan had spoken to someone who had spoken to President Obama directly about changing our food national food policy (I know that's, like, serious hearsay, but there it is). When asked if Obama had read Pollan's "Open Letter to the President," published in the New York Times Magazine last October, Obama replied he had, and in response to the question of whether he would do anything to change national food policies, Obama is said to have replied, "Show me the public support for it."

So here's a chance to show your public support and get your friends and family members who care about food (really, that should be everyone you know, 'cause, well, we all gotta eat) to spread the word. One way to do that is go here and tell President Obama what you think of reshaping food policy in this country. We need a critical mass of people who will take the time (really, it's not much time) to express their interest in revamping our broken food system; the more people who do it, the more likely it is President Obama will consider making the changes we as a country so desperately need.  

Disclaimer: in my more cynical moods I question whether or not this kind of activism is really effective. On the other hand, it can't hurt. 

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