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Thank you so much for the generous donation that helped send me to Washington D.C. to advocate for sustainable agriculture programs with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. I know that you too believe in the need for a Good, Clean and Fair food system – the kind of food system that will ensure that our children, land and communities are healthy ones – and I appreciate your help in passing that message on directly to our congressional leaders.

At a time when we are all feeling the effects of a tough economy, some seem to think that programs supporting sustainable farming practices, young and minority farmers, conservation in our rural communities and forward-thinking agriculture research are luxuries we can’t afford as a nation. To the contrary, it is the loss of such programs that we can’t afford!

This week I visited four congressional offices in D.C. with two farmers from the Toledo area, Kurt and Marty, to remind our elected representatives that real people will be affected by cuts to sustainable agriculture programs. We knew that these programs are efficient and effective both at offering greater resources to innovative farmers and at revitalizing rural communities, which is something we should all be able to get behind.

While the current economic crisis demands sacrifices, it should also necessitate compromises among everyone who draws on agriculture funding. This was a critical week for us to make this message heard in Washington D.C., and Kurt and I were proud to be there among more than 30 other farmers and farm advocates from around the country to represent Slow Food USA.