Finding Common Ground in Agricultural Issues
As Election 2020 approaches, NOFA-NH hopes that farmers can bridge political divides by helping us all to realize the common ground we share around similar goals for healthy food, ecosystems, and communities. In this spirit, we will be including in future e-news questions that we encourage our members to ask candidates visiting NH in the many months leading up to the next election. Send us your questions! We look forward to this dialogue. We will also include links to candidates’ positions on food and agriculture-related issues. Over these next months, we hope to post articles from all candidates and parties; NOFA-NH is non-partisan and pro-dialogue!
1. Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.“ Healthy soils contain higher levels of organic matter (which is over 50% carbon) than soils that are depleted. Farming using methods that increase organic matter improves water retention, the density of the nutrients in crops produced, removes carbon from the atmosphere, and can be more resilient to climate change. Do you see soil, especially healthy soil, as our one of our common resources, like clean water and clean air? And if so, do you have a plan to help farmers build healthier soils?
2. Aggregate farm earnings across the country this past year were half what they were in 2013. Farms are going out of business. Many farmers are considering suicide as the only option. When farmers are hard pressed economically, they cannot afford to spend time and money using the best management practices that benefit the earth and nutrient composition. It is time to abandon the present national food policies that promote cheap foods and push farmers to overproduce and cut expenses to the bone. Instead, national food policies should be based on parity payments for farm products and supply management to enable farmers to use the best ecological practices and build healthy soils. How do you intend to work with family-scale farmers to adopt programs that will stop the loss of family farms and incentivize practices that mitigate climate change by putting carbon in the soil where it does us some good?