American Farmland Trust agrees with the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s call for new farm policies that strengthen agriculture, the environment and rural development. “AFT supports the new direction in SAC’s farm bill platform. We join them in calling on Congress to construct policies and programs that promote economic opportunity, environmental stewardship, and rural prosperity,” says AFT President Ralph Grossi. “The release of the SAC platform is one more example that a diverse and growing consensus is emerging among farmers and ranchers, conservationists, and the public in support of a new farm policy that benefits everyone.”

Many of the recommendations in the SAC report titled, “No Time for Delay: A Sustainable Agriculture Agenda for the 2007 Farm Bill” parallel those recommended by AFT in its “Agenda 2007: A New Framework and Direction for U.S. Farm Policy” released in May. These include recommendations to assist beginning farmers and provide opportunities for minority farmers; to expand and improve working lands conservation programs; and to support farm entrepreneurship, rural development and better diets for our citizens.

Momentum continues to build for change in U.S. farm policy. “With new marker bills being introduced in Congress, proposals and recommendations being put forth, we’re beginning to see what that change could look like—improved safety net programs, expanded conservation, support for farmers and ranchers left out of past farm bills, increased access to healthier diets, and a greater emphasis on entrepreneurship, new markets and renewable fuels,” adds Grossi.

”AFT agrees ‘As a nation we can do so much better than the current farm bill,’” Grossi says, “The best thing that could happen is for all of us to realize that the 2007 Farm Bill is once-in-a-lifetime chance to transform public policy into something that works, and we shouldn’t let that opportunity escape—we must get involved.”

The Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s platform can be seen at www.msawg.org. A full copy of American Farmland Trust’s Agenda 2007 report and other farm policy campaign materials can be seen at www.farmland.org, and AFT will provide organizations with a briefing on Agenda 2007 upon request.

American Farmland Trust is a national nonprofit organization working with communities and individuals to protect the best land, plan for growth with agriculture in mind and keep the land healthy. As the leading advocate for farm and ranch land conservation, AFT has ensured that more than a million acres stays bountiful and productive.

AFT’s national office is located in Washington, D.C., and the phone number is 202-331-7300. For more information, visit www.farmland.org.