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Farmers Speak Out On 2012 Farm Bill

by Jennifer Miller — last modified Mar 21, 2012 07:31 PM

Oregon Farmer Travels to Washington, DC to meet with Congressman Kurt Schrader

Even fourth-generation farmers need strong sustainable agriculture research and extension efforts to stay successful – just ask Jason Montecucco, of Montecucco Farms in Canby, OR.

Montecucco and his family raise diversified vegetables both conventionally and organically on 600 acres in the Willamette Valley. They work closely with researchers at Oregon State University to stay abreast of research that helps them farm more effectively each season.

“Several years ago, our farm was losing 70% of our turnip and rutabaga crops to cabbage maggot damage.  Amy Dreeves, an OSU grad student at the time, conducted multi-year research on this pest in our region that led to an improved growing program that reduced our losses from 70% to less than 5%. Research like this at OSU has kept us relevant and in the game,” Montecucco said.

Earlier this month, Montecucco joined nearly 30 independent family farmers and ranchers from 17 states on Capitol Hill to share their stories and speak out for crucial farm bill programs that enable them to produce healthy food, build community, and sustain the environment.

As Congress continues work on the 2012 Farm Bill, farmers from Oregon to New York have their livelihoods at stake as the programs they use and value face grave budget cuts in Congress, including specialty crop and organic research block grants that fund crucial on-farm research. Montecucco and others offer a farmer’s perspective on why sustainable agriculture research matters. 

Northwest growers see a pay off from the investment in agricultural research programs. NCAP is pleased to have Jason Montecucco speaking up for the multiple benefits as our nation prepares for the next Farm Bill.

His trip to Washington, DC was sponsored by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (Eugene, OR), an NSAC member organization.

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities.