Advocacy groups talk to Congress about PRIME Act, dairy farm crisis in America
Constituents and farmers will prepare small plates for Congress and give them a taste of the farm as they talk legislation that supports local food and small farms.
Washington, D.C. – September 25, 2018— Constituents from all over the country will spend the day Wednesday, September 26, 2018, speaking to their Representatives and Senators about small farms and local food. To end the day, advocates will host “A Taste of Small Farm America” reception in the Senate Dirksen Building room 106 beginning at 5:30pm. The event for staffers, members, and constituents will feature top D.C. chefs who will pair their talents with those of local farmers. The chefs will each prepare a “small bites” dish highlighting the fresh farm ingredients. The cooperation of chef with farmers emphasizes the importance of small producers feeding their communities.
One topic on the advocate’s minds includes the PRIME (Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption) Act (H.R. 2657). See Video: PRIME ACT Explained-Congressman Massie.
“I introduced my bipartisan, bicameral PRIME Act to ease onerous federal rules that burden small farms and ranches,” says Congressman and farmer Thomas Massie (R-KY). “I know first-hand the difficulties faced by small producers. In order to sell individual cuts of locally raised meat, farmers must send their animals to USDA-inspected slaughterhouses–often hundreds of miles away. The PRIME Act would allow states to expand the current “custom exemption” and allow intrastate sales of custom-slaughtered beef, pork, and lamb to consumers, restaurants, and grocery stores.”
There are currently 22 bi-partisan co-sponsors on the Bill.
“Interest in direct sales is growing rapidly,” says Liz Reitzig of the Real Food Consumer Coalition.
Government regulations favor the industrial food system and hinder local commerce. We need to change this to see America’s small farms get the chance they need for economic survival. Family farms ensure the quality of what we eat, preserve environmental conservation, and enrich our communities. As Americans, we should have the right to choose the foods we need from the producers we want to support.
The group will also speak to the current restrictions on dairy farmers producing and direct marketing raw milk for consumption. An exemption policy for small farms producing raw milk would allow farmers to provide product to their community members who want it, giving small-scale dairy farmers greater choice in production and marketing.
This event is sponsored by Real Food Consumer Coalition, Organic Consumers Association, and Organic and Natural Health Association. Taste of Small Farm America brings together a collective force of people and organizations, with unique capabilities, joined together to share our knowledge of how family farms ensure the quality of what we eat, preserve environmental conservation, and enrich our communities.