On The Hill

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Some of the folks from Mississippi Association of Cooperatives swapping seeds from up north.

Betsy Garrold, President of the Board, is still in Washington DC after three days of very successful meeting, sharing, goal setting and action planning at the National Family Farm Coalition meeting. Today they storm the hill.

Maggie and Dena from Northern Plains Resource Council will be meeting with folks from the USDA and Congress-people from Montana.

Jim from Family Farm Defenders and Betsy from our own FMF will be meeting with staff from Susan Collins’ office, staff from Tammy Baldwin’s office (Jim is from Wisconsin) and, later in the afternoon, Chellie Pingree. The focus of these meetings will be educating these folks about the impact the TPP and the Trans-Atlantic Trade deal will have on small farms in this country. All of this in a effort to get them to vote against Fast Track.

Other Coalition members will be meeting with their respective Congress-persons.

One of the speakers we heard, over our three days of meetings, was Mike Dolan from the Teamsters. A dynamic speaker, Mike lead us through strategies that could work to stop this latest egregious trade deal. Monkey-wrenching (or as his European colleagues mis-heard it monkey ranching) is his favorite tactic. Once again seeing the sausage made is not always pretty but if it gets the job done than it’s all good. For more information on strategy email FMF at hgarrold@yahoo.com.

Fast Track authority is probably going to be voted on within the month. Congress is hot to get this done before the 2016 presidential sweepstakes begin, so watch for action alerts from your favorite progressive organizations and please sign on. Remember that next week all of Congress is going to be back home in their districts for President’s Day recess so if there are town-hall meetings planned please attend them and speak up against the selling, yet again, of the small farmers and other workers down the proverbial river that this bad, bad trade deal embodies.

And chin up spring is coming, as we proved at the NFFC meeting by swapping seeds. Dan and Charles from Mississippi told me they are going home to plant the bean seeds they took this very week. So it is warm somewhere and soon will be again in Maine.

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