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It’s been a while since we’ve done any Farm Bill alerts, so here goes, since things are starting to get rolling again for the final push. Thanks to our friends at Community Food Security Coalition for keeping us all informed and in the loop.

The next step for getting this thing passed: members of the Senate and the House need to reconcile the differences between the versions that each body passed last year. When they come up with a single, decisive version, they’ll then send it over to Bush, who many fear will veto the whole darn thing.

The conferees from the Senate side were announced this week. They are the top ranking (been around the longest) members of the Agriculture Committee – 6 Democrats and 5 Republicans:

Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Max Baucus (D-MT)
Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Ranking Member Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Richard Lugar (R-IN)
Charles Grassley (R-IA)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)

If any of these Senators are from your state, it is still important to give them a call. Things to mention:

  • Community Food Projects (see our post from February 1st): In order for the continuation of this highly successful program, it is imperative that the Senate funding of $10 million in mandatory funds sticks in conference. Even if your Senator is not on the conference committee, you can still call them and request that they speak to Chairman Harkin or any of the other conferees.
  • General urgency about the need to get this bill passed, to work “across the aisle” and with the White House to get a bipartisan bill signed into law this spring. Our national priorities depend on it.

You can reach your Senator’s office by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.