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Dear Rebecca,

Welcome to the January 2022 edition of The Buzz. I can’t believe it’s been nearly two years since I started with CFSA, roughly a month after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we enter year three of the pandemic, challenges and opportunities remain for the local food community.

With the 2023 Farm Bill around the corner, the coming year will be critical for advancing racial equity, harnessing the power of sustainable agriculture to mitigate climate change, create markets, and strengthen local food systems. The great news is that so many CFSA members and partners spent last year building an even stronger base of grassroots advocates! 

One of the issues that I’m particularly excited about is increased government funding to purchase fresh, healthy, local produce and protein to distribute to people in need. The North Carolina budget included $2 million for FarmsSHARE, and the Carolinas will receive more than $18 million from the USDA for local food purchases later this year. 


Local food leaders will have the ability to carry this momentum forward thanks to the introduction of the Fresh Produce Procurement Reform Act (FPPRA) in Congress. The CFSA Policy Team will meet with Congressional offices in February and ask them to co-sponsor FPPRA. If you are interested in joining the effort, please contact me at nick@carolinafarmstewards.org


In solidarity,

Nick


Nick Wood, CFSA Advocacy Manager


APPLY FOR OUR ADVOCACY PROGRAM
Are you passionate about sustainable food and agriculture?

Apply for the next cohort of CFSA's Member Advocacy Program. MAP is a benefit of CFSA membership and is offered without cost--just your full participation and commitment to policy change. Not a member? Join today!

The 12 members selected for the program will learn more about:
•  Meeting with lawmakers and agency officials,
•  Grassroots advocacy,
•  Networking,
•  Storytelling, 
•  Educating their community,
•  The legislative and administrative process,
•  Building coalitions, and more!


The curriculum includes five virtual classes, (at least) two chances to participate in real-world advocacy activities, and the opportunity to become a CFSA Policy Ambassador.

Classes occur on the last Wednesday of the month from 5-6:30 from February to June starting Feb. 23, 2022. 


Apply todayThe deadline is Friday, Feb. 11.

APPLY TODAY!

RECORDINGS PASS NOW AVAILABLE!

Did you miss CFSA's Sustainable Agriculture Conference in November? We just made the SAC Recording Access Pass available!

For the cost of $0.62 per recording, you can now purchase the pass and gain access to more than 75 recordings through Mar. 1, 2022. It includes:
  • 59 virtual workshops on timely topics, and at least 20 are dedicated to policy, advocacy, and food justice
  • 115+ speakers, including incredible advocates like Naeema Muhammad, Rhyne Cureton, Ilana Dubester, Meredith Leigh, Erica Cormack, LaShauna Austria, Josie Walker, Monique Bethel, Alisha Street, April Jones, Crystal Taylor, Nick Tyre, Victoria Nwankudu, the teams from Men & Women United for Youth & Families and A Better Chance A Better Community, as well as CFSA MAP graduates Dylan Turner, George Jones, Kara Rutter, and Keith Sexton!
  • 2 keynote panels, diving into ethical meat and the future of farm-to-table restaurants
Pricing:  $80-$120 (varies for students, veterans, and CFSA members)

BUY A RECORDINGS PASS!


IF YOU READ ONE FOOD/FARMING
POLICY ARTICLE THIS MONTH...


Here is a curated list of reads from the CFSA Policy Team
 
Jared Cates, Community Mobilizer

Article: Time's "U.S. Food Prices Are Up. Are the Food Corporations to Blame for Taking Advantage?
"

It seems that every time I go into a supermarket, the prices have inched up on almost every item in my cart. In fact, we are paying almost 6.5% more overall for our groceries than we did last year. Who is to blame for this? Certainly, COVID’s influence across the supply chain has contributed to rising food costs. But what about the influence of the large corporate monopolies that control and dictate these supply chains? Check out Time’s coverage of this issue and their recommendations for some potential fixes to our current situation. 
Nick Wood, Advocacy Manager

Article: Politico's "The Latest Tug-Of-War: Billions in Farm Subsidies & Rural Aid"

There has been much talk, and little action, from Congress around how to harness the potential of sustainable agriculture in mitigating climate change. The hope has been that the nearly $30 million in conservation and research funding in the Build Back Better Act would move us forward on this crucial issue. Still, the legislation has stalled due to opposition from Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV).

Congressional leaders have turned their attention to the 2023 Farm Bill as the next battleground for climate and agriculture. Negotiations are expected to kick off in the next several weeks, and both parties are positioning themselves for the debate to come. Democrats see this legislation as an opportunity to place sustainable agriculture at the center of national climate policy, while Republicans have been non-committal on the subject.
Matt Kneece, South Carolina Policy Coordinator

Article: Bloomberg's ​​"Biden Launches Plan to Fight Meatpacker Giants on Inflation"

Farmers and ranchers of all sizes continue to face problems that aren’t new, specifically the ongoing bottlenecks in meat processing. In the last few months, incredible strides have been taken to raise awareness of the problem and fund solutions to break up the logjams. The USDA announced more than $500 million in new investments for meat processing infrastructure this past fall, and CFSA submitted detailed comments on how this money could best help local food systems. 

This past week we saw the biggest step forward yet. President Biden and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced plans to tackle the ongoing consolidation in meat processing corporations, which is driving up prices and snuffing out independent, local processors. Coupled with rising inflation, meat prices are approaching and passing record highs. This latest federal response is an incredibly important step in finally reforming the meat processing landscape, bringing relief to farmers, independent processors, and consumers.
 
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The
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is on a mission to bring local, organic food to your table from a farmer who shares your values – and we can’t do it without you. Together we are building a regional food system that is good for consumers, growers, and the land.

 
(919) 542-2402 | info@carolinafarmstewards.org
 
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