AFA formalizes a federal program which is a win for small farmers, consumers, the environment & health food advocates.
FARM AND RANCH MOBILITY FOR SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAM
Increasing plant-based options for consumers and providing farmers with more options and flexibility is critical. Policies focused on plant-based agriculture practices and increasing the supply of high-fiber, healthy foods would:
- Provide security to at-risk small and mid-size farmers against market pressure, monopolies, environmental concerns and infectious disease
- Promote public health by encouraging healthy eating and ensuring consumers have access to affordable high-fiber foods
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure less environmentally intensive production system.
AFA’s lobbying team is shifting the narrative from what most politicians hear and calling on them to quickly strengthen subsidies to our small farmers that give them choice and mobility of how to use their land. Because of competition with large farms, small farmers need options to stay afloat that get them away from government reliance. The best formats to use and restore their land sometimes require transitioning their farms to less competitive, non-monopolistic plant-based food crops.
This allows farmers to restore the soil on their land, reuse storage sheds, create a sustainable model, use less energy, use less water, adapt to lucrative plant-based consumers, create a local farm hub to provide to schools & other community institutions, and increase health food accessibility.
We are asking members of Congress to support policies that ensure our farmers have access to new methods that both protect them and build up our communities.
America Needs More Fiber-rich Foods
Hear what some American Farmers have to say
America is in the midst of a dietary fiber crisis, and farm policy can solve it.
Thousands of American lives could be saved every year if everyone ate the recommended amounts of dietary fiber.1 Unfortunately …
Americans Aren’t Eating Enough Fiber-rich Foods
The US food system supplies half the dietary fiber Americans need, 2 and Americans are only eating half the fiber they need.3 As a result, Americans are dying of chronic diet-related diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.4 Read more …
Fast-growing plant-based food companies are “scrambling to secure a supply chain,” according to Miyoko Schinner, CEO of Miyoko’s Creamery.
American Food Manufacturers Struggle to Buy American
“Plant-based food producers like us import raw materials from Vietnam and China because we can’t find ample sources here in the US. There’s far more demand by plant-based companies for fiber-rich crops than supply.” – Miyoko Schinner [ full remarks ]
This is America’s all-hands-on-deck moment. If America is going to cut GHG emissions in half by 2030, every industrial sector needs to pitch in.
A Fiber-rich Food Supply is Low-GHG
American Farmers Need Options
The FARMS Act will offer a lifeline to small and mid-sized independent producers who are adapting to consolidating industries and rapidly evolving consumer demands. Take, for example, Dan and Paul – independent dairy farmers joining AFA in calling for Congress to introduce the FARMS Act and establish a diversification program.
“I would much rather get funding to transition to something better than get funding to keep producing milk for a market that already has a surplus.”
I support the creation of the FARMS Act,
to assist farmers in transition to different lines of production, especially climate-healing crop production.”
– Dan, AFA Partner Farmer [ read Dan’s letter to his Federal Rep ]
“There are a number of farmers like me who can see what’s coming.
Whether it be climate or economic factors, keeping small or smaller farms in business, is going to require specific actions. We can’t all keep doing what we are doing. Dairy farming is mentally tough. Far too often we find out about a farmer who ran himself into the ground mentally, physically, or financially. It is a very real and common problem.”
– Paul, AFA Partner Farmer [ see Paul’s farm ]
The FARMS Act: Options for American Farmers to Deliver Fiber-rich Foods
FARMS is open to all small and mid-sized American agriculture producers and prioritizes Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran farmers.
- Up to $250,000 per year for three years
- For offsetting the costs associated with diversifying and transitioning a farm or ranch, including repurposing buildings, purchasing or repairing machinery or equipment, organic certification costs.
- ensure the direct transition is to sustainable fiber-rich food commodity crops such as lentils, chickpeas, dry peas, and oats, or specialty food crops such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains using national conservation practice standards
- Priority is given to Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers as defined under 2501.
Fiber-rich Crops by State
It’s not only AFA who recognizes that America faces a dietary-fiber crisis. On November 2, 2021, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing on the State of Nutrition in America 2021. Senators and panelists laid out a clear case for the FARMS Act. Check it out.
The nutrition crisis is a policy failure. While the government tells us our plates should consist largely of fruits & vegetables, currently less than 2% of federal agriculture subsidies go to these healthy foods.
Senator Cory Booker in the Nov 2 Hearing