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Calling All Ag Supporters: Tell us What’s at Stake Without #MyFarmBill

At USDA, we remain committed to sharing with all Americans the need for a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill to keep up momentum in American agriculture, grow the rural economy and create jobs.  And today, we launched Instagram, @USDAgov, to highlight photos and videos from around the country that bring into your home the dynamic beauty of rural America and the hard work of people who live there.

But that’s not all – we want to hear from you!

Secretary Vilsack kicked us off by asking you to share your stories on what the Food, Farm and Jobs Bill means to YOU and your communities.  Using your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or blog, we are inviting you to help us tell this important story and to highlight the impacts that these programs have on our nation’s rural and urban communities alike.  Use the hashtag #MyFarmBill and we’ll share some of our favorites.

We can’t wait to hear from you.

Editors Note: We’re collecting #MyFarmBill stories here on our Storify board. Use #MyFarmBill to tell your own story on social media and we’ll add your voice to the list!

39 Responses to “Calling All Ag Supporters: Tell us What’s at Stake Without #MyFarmBill”

  1. Donna Sullivan says:

    Chicken from China — NO WAY!!

  2. Chip says:

    How is this not (illegal) lobbying?

  3. John says:

    Donna–If we continue to let urban sprawl take away our most productive farmland, we might have to rely on China for our chicken, fruits and vegetables, and other foods. I don’t exactly want to rely on a foreign country to supply our food as I view it as a national security concern, among other things. We need smart growth. We have thousands upon thousands of vacant and boarded up homes and businesses and factories in the city while they continue to build on the city’s edge–paving over productive farmland.

  4. Tom Kalahar says:

    Ag Policy has to change in America. The present and past Farm Bills have created a false market for not only commodities but all things they touch such as land price, land rent, crop imputs and others. The scorchd earth effect of modern farming is putting our water supply in jeopardy and rewarding larger farms for bad behavior. We need an honest depate on farm policy and maybe this will make it happen. Farmers do not need public support and if they do, have them prove it. I know way to many rich farmers that continue to recieve my tax dollars.

  5. Michael Byun says:

    New Americans in Ohio, who were farmers in their native country, will not have access to training, technical assistance, and other support to become American farmers.

  6. Bernie C says:

    Can we get in a word from the public and not let the Big Industrial Farms and Big Ag Leadership run the USDA???? Can we get a cruelty prevention team together, or better yet….CCTV in every barn and slaughterhouse. Show the Public where their precious meat comes from and the horrors the animals endure. Glass walls on slaughterhouses.

  7. Daniel Clyburn says:

    Congress needs to pass a farm bill,or extend the old law,also fund the disaster assistance provisions that are currently unfunded.Without clear knowlege of USDA programs farmers,lenders,ag suppliers,and landlords will be hesitant to risk their assets on a 2014 crop.Here in South Carolina,we’ve had a disasterous spring and summer,floods of unprecedented proportions have cut farm income drastically.We hope,as all farmers and ranchers do,for a brighter 2014.The farms in need are all family operations,no movie moguls or ballplayers here. We hire and buy in our local communities,so farm losses are felt here,first.Let’s ssupport the family farms and farmers by moving the farm bill,and disaster appropriations forward in a form the President can sign into law.Rural America can’t wait.

  8. Jan Miller says:

    The farm bill which should be call the food bill has always been the way that we are able to have a safety net that allows farmers to produce safe and affordable food. As a family farm we have already given up the farm payments that were implemented when commodity prices were very depressed compared to the costs of inputs. The farm bill has the conservation policy in it that we need to continue. We are a very diverse group of producers that raise everything that is consumed.
    Our livestock producers are reliant on a constant supply of feed stuff. Farmers have very little control on the cost of the inputs and the price received for the product is not something we can control either. We are at the mercy of Mother Nature when we plant a crop we pray that the rains will come at the right times. Farmers grow new products every season always putting out their best each season. Farming creates many jobs all the way up the food chain but it has to start with putting the seed in the ground. If we want to eat we need to plant. Our communities are reliant on farming and the jobs that are created through farming. The longer we take to make a aggressive decision the harder it will be for the next generation of farmers to continue.

  9. Dave says:

    Separate out food assistance from the farmbill. SNAP should be its own stand alone unit then it may be easier to identify excesses and/or shortfalls for both programs.

  10. Maugwa says:

    I agree with Dave. The Farm Bill has little to do with farming and everything to do with big bloated government spending money we don’t have.

  11. Lisa says:

    I agree with Dave that food assistance should be separate from the farm bill. I also think that food assitance programs should be altered. Specifically, I find it very confusing that our school system has been charged with providing healthy meals with limits on animal protein and processed foods and heavy on fruits and vegetables. Yet people on the food assistance program in our state are able to puchase processed food in abundance. Why are our schools held to a different standard than people on food assistance? If our schools are expected to meet quotas of fruits, vegetables and vegetable proteins I think families on food assistance should also. Standing behind someone with children who receives assistance purchasing giant size bags of pizza rolls and oreos is enough to question our governments commitment to the health of our children.

  12. Daniel Clyburn says:

    Another week has passed since I last posted my opinion that congress needs to pass a farm bill,or extend the old one,with funding for disaster provisions that only grow worse as the days pass.The flooding in Colorado and the wildfire dangers in other parts of the country show the need for disaster relief.Communities will need special assistance only the USDA can provide,land reclamation,grazing replenishment,and loans for the farmers and ranchers impacted.if you want to help rural America,help the farmer,he spends his funds locally.Congress needs to expidite the farm bill,so those that produce the food can get on with the job.

  13. OlyMama says:

    For those who want to talk about animal cruelty & conventional vs. organic farming, yet have never farmed themselves, take a read at a recent article.
    Bravo to these young guys for starting up farming & acknowledging that they had no idea until they started farming themselves. The farm bill has helped a lot of families through tough times. And it has changed over the years. Let’s at least get something passed so we can move on. A budget & farm bill would be a great start!

  14. velma Watson says:

    Regarding those receiving food assistance buying processed foods; if the parents of students were invited into the school for a food break down session, then many would understand why they should used their food assistance programs more wisely. We did this in our private school, fees based on household income and it worked. 98% of the students went onto college, now have families and the food programs that we implemented for their parents, explaining why the foods are so important for nourishing the body, spirit, and soul. The Farm Bill is important to those of us who are trying to continue farming land that their great grand parents purchased and their descendants have held onto. Sugar Cane was our dependable crop, that was truly our cash crop. Farming is so important, to produce food stuffs that are grown on American Land!!!!

  15. albert morgan says:

    Bio-fuels are a means for higher fuel prices created by the robber barons on wall street. We (the american workers)pay to much for gas to get to work now why subsudize banks and wall st investors at our expense? Come on it is not only unfair it is corrupt and evil.

  16. Daniel Clyburn says:

    The public now sees the congress as simply a bad reality show,unable to move legislation as necessary as the Farm Bill to fruition. The reality of the situation is apparent in rural America,without certainty of programs, farmers can’t plan for next year. Lenders in disaster affected areas are re-evaluating their loans,and may cut off borrowers,if disaster help doesn’t get funded.Stalemate is not the answer,food and fiber producers,in America ,need the Farm Bill passed. This session is slipping away,and rural America is growing tired of this bad reality show.

  17. Robert Yoder says:

    The challenge of a farm bill is to provide support that encourages selfreliance. SNAP program be the majority of the farm bill and growing in numbers points to a bigger concern in our country. Our we teaching our population to fish or are we statisfied to simple feed fish and have a growing segment of our society dependent on the federal government. We were once a nation of proud independent people.

  18. lynda says:

    I have been fighting the disgusting dog/cat meat trade in Asians countries for a year now. I live in the USA and have turned a blind eye to what’s really going on in factory farms. Now that I know, I am appalled at the way some employees are so abusive to the already abuse animals. I am not a vegan or an animal rights activists but what’s going on in the US in these factory farms is just unexceptable. it all based on profit, greed and downright wrong. These animals suffer terribly and to have workers that abused them even more is barbaric!!! To have a bill that will not regulate that is a nightmare, I will become a vegan just for that reason! Watch earhlings DVD anyone here might totally change their minds on the way we horribly treat our farm animals. I’m sick to my stomach on what we do here in the USA and to hate Asian countries for beaten , boiling and skinning cats and dogs alive , WE are just as bad as these 3rd world countries- all based on profit, money, greed, power and corrupt goverments. I eat meat, but my god why can’t you implement a humane way of killing ????

  19. Daniel Clyburn says:

    The Farm Bill needs to include funding for disaster relief,these losses are already holding rural America hostage,lenders need to know real help is on the way. A disaster declaration with no funding following ,are just empty words. Rural America is as important as victims of Sandy,and deserves to have drought and flood relief funded.

  20. Betty Meloy says:

    The Farm Bill is vital to allowing our over 50 year old cooperative living dormitory to continue at the University of Idaho. Steel House Cooperative Dormitory is a women’s living dorm where women do their own housekeeping and kitchen clean-up to keep down the high cost of a college education. About 7 years ago, our dorm building had to be vacated and we have been renting a building ever since. We want to be able to build our own facility but the Community Facilities loans offered by Rural Development are dependent upon the definition of rural communities set in the Farm Bill. The University of Idaho is located in Moscow, ID whose population is over the 20,000 people currently defining a rural area. The new Farm bill proposes to raise the population limit so that we may use the USDA financing that will allow us to build a new building and continue to over low cost University housing for women at the U of I. Please vote to pass the Farm Bill and allow continued growth in small college communities nationwide!

  21. Bill Vandercook says:

    What is at stake? Many farmers’ and citizens’ who are blessed with an abundance of food today, will be starving tomorrow. God bless the farmers’ and the people, abundantly!

  22. Cindy says:

    American farmers need to stop being the cowardly puppets of agribusiness and return to the days when farmers actually cared for their animals instead of treating them like unfeeling machines. When did farmers stop caring for the welfare of their animals? How much abuse can you heap on the animals in your care? Is money all you care for anymore? Shame on you.

  23. Dora says:

    I understand both parties want to cut our snap (food stamp) program. The republican by 40 billion and democrats by 14 billion. It seem like the answer for any program is to decrease funding or increase funding.
    Since this letter is about snap program. I like to make a few suggestion how to make it better and get more bang out of the tax payer money.

    First of all it bothers me to see people purchase large amount of “junk foods” with there snap benefits. There is no way of controlling what these people purchase.
    I believe a rebate program would be a way of getting these people to purchase more nutritional foods. When someone makes a purchase for nutritional food with there ebt card they would receive a certain percentage back the following month on there ebt card.

    Example…The Does receives $80.00 a month in food stamps…The Does uses there card purchase $60.00 of nutritional foods and $20.00 worth of “junk food”…The following month on ebt card they would receive let say 10% more base on the purchase of nutritional foods the past month. Instead of the $80.00 a month they would be receiving and extra $6.00 a month. A total of $86.00

    I do home care and some of them had to take a class on nutrition. What I saw was they took the class so they could get there benefits. Continue purchasing junk food.

    I do home care and my clients are very poor. These cuts in there snap benefits has effected them very much.
    I say even anther round of cuts even of 14 billion will hurt them.

    Others facts needs to be on the table when it comes to snaps benefits.
    Such as personal assets….which is complete out of date. The deductions which was allowed needs to be returned in full..such as rent, utilities, and etc. The maximum amount one gets needs to be increased per-person…If someone is employed and there wages are still considered property wages they should be receiving some extra benefit from snap program.

    No more cuts in snap program. These people who are loosing there snap benefits can’t afford the shoelaces let lone the boots to pull them self up by.


  24. Daniel Clyburn says:

    If the congress can’t agree on a farm bill,extend the one we operate under now.Fund the disaster provisions and give the ag community some relief from uncertainty.

  25. Marc Young says:

    When the Food Security Act of 1985 (Farm Bill) provides that a person you agree to let till a mere 15 acres out of twenty can sign a document that allow your entire acreage tract (over 149 acres) to be searched to do a wetlands determination and when you as a land owner are not consulted or even given a copy of the preliminary wetlands determination. And when you do get a copy because your wife was given a copy by his wife and you disagree with the preliminary determination, you are not allowed to file a request for an informal appeal. This makes the basic farm bill provisions unconstitutional and should be voidable by the courts. Bottom line is there is a need for a farm bill that provides a from of crop insurance for farmers because the risk of loss due to the uncertainty of the weather which can lead to a loss two out of three years for row crops and makes ranching a barely viable economic return for most all years. The loss of a calf due to freezing can mean your profits for a year. Threatening to take away a neighbor’s crop insurance because he wants to farm some additional acreage that was originally in crops and is now in pasture is wrong. It was grandfathered but unless you can prove something that no one wants to keep records on anymore. I vote to revise teh farm bill to make it simply a means to provide crop ionsurance to all farmers with no strings or FOOD STAMP PROGRAMS attached.

  26. Daniel Clyburn says:

    Just saw the President advocate for renewal of unemployment benefits,partly because the money spent locally supports the economy. You can easily make the case farm program benefits are spent locally ,as well.I’ve always thought program benefits passed through the farmer’s hands,directly into my local suppliers accounts. Our conservation payments help implement soil-saving innovations we can’t pay for without help and expertise from FSA and NRCS programs and personel. Rural America needs a Farm Bill that includes a safety net for times of disaster and low commodity prices,and conservation iniatives to protect the soil,water,and air;for all Americans.

  27. Alice Evans says:

    We can not afford to leave our precious food supply to foreign countries to produce. We must take control of farming. If we do not supply our own food, it will be subjected to improper healthy means of production, which cause continuous illnesses. In addition, the cost of food will be subjected to prices that are not affordable due to the cost of shipment that will be added to the cost. Our food will also be subjected to lack of FRESHNESS which can also cause sickness.

  28. Tom newman says:

    I live in a rural area.Farmers around here use gasoline for farm use in their personal vehichles. Is this acceptable? is there not a lower tax on fuelon farm related use.

  29. Daniel Clyburn says:

    Glad to see the President and the Secretary visit California and give hope to the growers and workers in the midst of their drought. Please don’t forget the southeastern states,where we suffered a terrible flood disaster last summer,and now have devastation to our power systems from an ice storm ,last week.A visit to the south would give the farmers and consumers a morale boost,after a year of unprecedented weather events.

  30. Elaine Cooper says:

    I am a caregiver to a family member and upset that the Food Stamp Program has been cut another 1 percent after the 1 percent cut last November. There is a myth floating around Congress and The Senate that we; the poor; are a bunch of freeloaders. Well, we are not. Since the members of both houses chose to listen to their “special interest groups”. I have to endure another $11 cut and this is not fair nor is it right. I cannot dig any deeper into my own pockets to offset the cut that is coming; I am already doing that now. Instead of giving more safety to the big farming corporations. Have them pay; they can afford it. You have really disappointed me Secretary Vilsack. Shame on you!!!!

  31. Ken Lawrence says:

    this bill hurts people and there way of life it’s killing jobs and is no way helping farmer or the people of these United State it is putting a end to all animal harvest and even pet ownership when our gov’t works hand in hand with a terrorist group like the H.S.U.S that has no problem telling everyone what they are going too take away from us (there own words ) we want and will get total animal Liberation with the help of the people gov’t) and the more this bill is up dated they take more and more of our freedom away from us so with that being said we the people of these United State needs to stop and tell our gov’t to drop this entire bill and start all over again but this time make it to were it is helping the farmer and not hurting them and all hunter, fisher, pet owners, and meat eaters, this is still America and for now it is the home of the free but if we don’t stop our gov’t of working with these terrorist group (H.S.U.S ) it wont stay free for long !!!!!!!!!!! The Legacy Network

  32. Noreen LaVallo says:

    The new SNAP cuts are devastating people. Some in my neighborhood got a $100 a month cut as they don’t qualify for fuel assistance. Is this how we treat people while the Agri-Business got nice fat subsidies? What is wrong with you people?????

  33. Sheila says:

    We own a sod company and have been fighting many things for the past 5 years. The house industry and the weather. Our business depends on both. We live in MN and have had a record amount of rain and our sod fields are under water. So our income is shut off as of now. I understand that helping our farmers is good for the economy but its hard when there are other businesses that need help too. What I don’t understand is the freedom to farm act. We pay our farmers to farm? There is no insurance that we can take out on our crop. Our governor has issued a state of emergency in our county but I really don’t know what that means for us. I have cancer and now I don’t know how we are going to deal with that. My husband worked 3 jobs last winter to make ends meet. What would the farm bill mean to us?

  34. Devon says:

    I’ve never accepted a government subsidy in my life, and never will. As far as I’m concerned, the Farm Bill is just more government interference in my way of life and more government in my pocket. If the governments wants to help small farmers, get rid of the death tax and leave us alone.

  35. sheila says:

    I have a small farm less then; 10 years now. I live in a Rural community on the island of Hawaii. We have had a difficult time getting water to our agricultural land. We have been working with the USDA here on our island. It seems like all the available surface water is diverted to only large farms.We are having no support on our water issue’s here. With this farm bill I would like to see little farmers like myself get more support. So we can help our community with fresh vegetables and food.Our 20 acres could help at least 10 families !

  36. christine Ridpath says:

    The word is getting out among the public about factory farming, how the animals are treated, what they are injected with and what they feed them. They are buying up all the land, tearing out the forest for more crop land, hording the utilities and are money greedy! They need to be knocked down and put in place. People are quietly boycotting and cutting back on meat consumption or not buying meat. I hope this trend continues so the small farm can rise up and that people can eat locally.

  37. Lucy from Ohio says:

    We are a 7 generation farm in Butler County Ohio. But due to the bleak outlook the USDA has given to the banks, they will not loan money to farmers unless they inherited everything. We will have to file bankruptcy because of the programs and regulations in place. The banks will NOT loan farmers money unless they had tons of money to replace it. And I will tell you this, I intend to document and publicize exactly what this government has done to farmers. Why is there low inventory in beef?? Why are beef prices so high in America?? Its because farmers like us have 6 empty cattle barns due to regulations who tell the banks cattle are a risk. If we are wiling to work 7 days a week, why are we punished? The USDA has done nothing but strip the American Farmer. They want the Monsanto and Cargills of the world to take over so they too can control what we grow and what we eat. Rations will be next.

  38. Lester Cypher says:

    We have a Faith-Based Food bank, Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen and have a very difficult time to obtain enough food to assist the 23,000 families that we assist each month through our food pantry and our 70 partnering food pantries. Faith-Based Hunger Relief ministries are the ones that are on the front lines when you see a hungry person receiving assistance yet when it comes to receiving assistance it is always the Secular non-profits that receive all the help. Without the Faith-Based Food Pantries and Food Banks, hungry people wouldn’t receive food for their families so why not work with the Faith-Based charities that are volunteering their time to help those in need? Thank you for all you do for the less fortunate of our society.

  39. KingJon Fozzy says:

    When are you people in congress going to actually do something that benefits the American taxpayer? You keep prolonging the inevitable financial crash of our country by enacting and extending programs that only waste taxpayer money, one case in point is the The Agricultural Act of 2014, aka the “2014 U.S. Farm Bill”.

    It is obvious that once again you did not read any of this legislation before you passed it in to law so why don’t you at least take 5 minutes to read what experts say about what YOUR vote did and what the farm bill means to American taxpayers outside “the beltway” that surrounds DC like a moat meant to keep us, your constituents, out.

    These articles, and EVERY other article I’ve read about this legislation, points to another financial fiasco enacted by the pompous people in congress who are bought and paid for by the farm lobby.

    Instead of voting for your own pocketbook and re-election here’s a novel idea, do something right for your constituents and our country for a change, will you?

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