Past Farm Bills have primarily directed agricultural subsidies to growers of corn, soybeans, and similar commodities grown primarily as feed for animals raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). That skewed funding functions to pad corporate profits while driving small farms out of business and supporting animal suffering and pollution caused by CAFOs. Moreover, due to long-running and persistent discrimination in the administration of farm loans, BIPOC farmers have received far less than their fair share of loans and other support and have consequently lost much of the land they and their ancestors farmed. Small and family farms that have received few benefits from past bills are more likely to deploy sustainable practices. Past Farm Bills have also encouraged massive consolidation and mechanization of farms without adequately promoting good environmental stewardship. There is a pressing need to redirect Farm Bill funding to reducing hunger, promoting sustainable farming practices, fighting climate change, and making our agricultural sector more equitable.
Promoting sustainable farming techniques and reducing carbon emissions falls within our UU 7th Principle: “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” The 2019 UU G.A.y adopted an Action of Immediate Witness entitled “Build the Movement for a Green New Deal,” which recognized the intersectional nature of climate issues and [environmental] justice issues and urged that UUs “Develop a new morality, rebuilding our political and economic structures to prioritize the well-being of future generations, grounded in sustainability.” Supporting programs that assist farmers of color and farm workers is consistent with promoting “Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations,” as stated in our 2nd Principle.
Join Earth Ministry in the Community Room this Sunday after the service to take action by sending a letter to members of Congress.