Subject: Opportunity to Tell USDA What You Think by June 21!

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Dear Friend,

FTCLDF members know that a decentralized food system, one in which farmers can provide food directly to their consumers, works best. While you have known for years that the U.S. food supply is extremely vulnerable, COVID-19 highlighted the issue and attracted the attention of policy makers. I want to let you know about an opportunity to have your voice heard!

In February, President Biden issued an Executive Order relating to agricultural supply chains. Pursuant to that order, the USDA is collecting information on the “Supply Chains for the Production of Agricultural Commodities and Food Products.” One method the USDA is using to collect information is to gather public comments. Public comments on the topic can be submitted through Monday, June 21 HERE.

In the Notice welcoming comments, the USDA states that it is particularly interested in hearing comments about creating new market opportunities (including value-added agriculture and value-added products), facilitating fair markets, and promoting consumers’ nutrition security.

Let the USDA know your thoughts relating to these topics. I have included a few ideas that you may wish to consider:
  • The USDA should recommend passage of the PRIME Act. This Act would permit producers to use custom slaughter facilities to process livestock and then sell the processed product. This would help small producers increase their market tremendously, and the transfer of product is direct, meaning that its origin is easily traced.
  • The USDA can help fund more and smaller processing facilities.
  • The USDA can assist small independent farmers by exempting more from regulatory requirements, such as the Food Safety Modernization Act. Direct to consumer sales are highly transparent and traceable making detailed regulation unnecessary.
  • The USDA can recommend changes to regional regulations, such as encouraging states and local governing bodies to not discourage farming through onerous zoning regulations or ordinances.
  • Any other changes or concerns that you think will help strengthen local food systems.
If interested, please send comments through THIS LINK.

Thank you to all who attended last week’s webinar, and I hope to see you again soon.

In good health,

Alexia Kulwiec
Executive Director | 703-208-FARM (3276) |
8116 Arlington Blvd Suite #263, Falls Church, VA 22042, United States
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