Currently, USDA farm policy heavily subsidizes the production of livestock feed. Cheap feed lowers the production costs of livestock. That means that USDA farm policy disproportionately favors meat, dairy, and egg production.
Meanwhile, 95% of agricultural methane emissions come from livestock, and the top chronic diseases suffered by Americans are associated with the overconsumption of animal products.
In other words, US farm policy encourages the production of foods that damage our planet and our bodies. AFA advocates for plant-food-centric farm policy instead. But to be effective, YOUR representatives need to know that YOU want plant-food-centric farm policies too.
Here’s how you tell them.
Step 1: Craft your letter
While some organizations provide form letters for you to forward to your reps with the click of a button, it’s our understanding that cookie-cutter letters tend to be ignored.
That’s why AFA recommends you write your own letter. Make sure to stick to one – and only one – request or topic per letter. It’s better to send multiple letters, each with one topic, than to send a whole list of ideas in a single letter.
Tip: Stick to one topic only
For this exercise, you are asking your MoC to support policies that will center farm policy on making plant-based foods cheap compared to animal-based foods. Here is a sample letter you can borrow talking points and citations from.
Dear Representative _______,
It has come to my attention that US farm policy heavily favors the production of livestock feed. In 2020, corn growers received over $9 billion in aid, and soy growers, $4 billion. According to the USDA, over 40% of corn, and 70% of soy is grown for livestock feed. These subsidies lower input costs of animal products. This seems misguided, as the production of livestock is a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions, and excessive consumption of animal products is associated with many chronic diseases that plague my fellow Americans.
A recent study out of the University of Michigan demonstrated that “replacing half of all animal-based foods in the U.S. diet with plant-based alternatives could reduce climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions 1.6 billion metric tons by 2030.”
I therefore ask you to support any and all policies which shift farm supports to favor the production of plant-based foods for humans, and phase out subsidies to commodity crops that are fed to livestock. A good place to start would be to support programs that offer grants to livestock farmers who wish to transition their farms to the production of plant-based proteins using restorative agriculture methods, like this farmer, Dan ( afa.farm/dan ), who is working with an organization I support, called the Agriculture Fairness Alliance.
[insert address and phone number here]
 https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2021-02/documents/us-ghg-inventory-2021-chapter-5-agriculture.pdf#page=3 (table 5-2 shows that 95% of agricultural methane emissions come from livestock.)
 “Healthy Living Is the Best Revenge” http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1108507
Further supporting documentation and resources can be found at plantbaseddata.org.
If you use the University of Michigan study, and can embed an image, this one is compelling:
Step 2: Send letters to your MoCs
You have one Representative in the House of Representatives, and two Senators in the Senate. Find out who they are here: