Among the teachers, medical professionals and other New Yorkers lobbying Albany for their share of the state budget, we’d like to see more eaters. And to make it even easier for you activist food citizens–or would-be ones–the American Farmland Trust has just added a second free bus (with wifi!) departing bright and early from Union Square on Wednesday, March 30, for the “No Farms, No Food” Rally in Albany. A local food box lunch will be served, natch.
That’s right, farm policy ain’t just about the people who produce what we eat. It’s as much about how we buy and eat our daily bread. While it’s true that our federal farm policy to date has been guided primarily by farmers and agribusiness interest–mostly from the Midwestern farm states that benefit from crop subsidies. There’s no reason that a few dozen circumspect Senators and Congressmen from urban or suburban districts (with voters that are more likely to be eaters than farmers) can’t wrench a hold of the nation’s food policy and steer it back towards the public interest–strong rural communities that enhance our local landscape, farming techniques that clean the environment, and a diverse and nutritious food supply for all.
As the Trust writes: “The No Farms No Food Rally & Lobby Day will bring together farmers, soup kitchen volunteers, land trusts, community gardeners, chefs, town officials, and local food advocates from across the state to meet in person with over 100 state legislators to tell them that the loss of farms and farmland hurts New York’s economy and food security.” So take a sick day, leave the kids with a friend, and get involved and get on the bus here.