For Immediate Release: March 2, 2023

PITTSBORO, NC — Rural Advancement Foundation International – USA (RAFI-USA) will join farmers, ranchers, and other farm advocates from across the country at Farmers for Climate Action: Rally for Resilience in Washington, D.C., on March 6-8, 2023.  As the 2023 Farm Bill rises to the top of the legislative agenda of the 118th Congress, farmers have a simple and clear message for lawmakers:  climate change must be a policy priority.

This event aims to bring a mass mobilization of agricultural producers and farm advocates to the Capitol to urge Congress to address the severe challenges facing the farming community due to the climate crisis. The next Farm Bill needs to explicitly empower farmers to tackle climate change by providing resources, assistance, and incentives that will allow them to lead the way in implementing proven climate solutions.

RAFI-USA, who played a key role in organizing the event, will attend with a delegation of farmers and farm advocates representing more than 10 BIPOC-led farm organizations. These groups are part of a RAFI-USA initiative, “Climate and Equity Policy Project,” which supports grassroots organizations in starting or augmenting their grassroots policy advocacy work on the 2023 Farm Bill.  Climate and Equity participating organizations are located throughout the U.S. from Alaska to New England, including  Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more about the Climate and Equity Policy Project on RAFI-USA’s website.

Among the inspiring slate of speakers will be two RAFI-USA board members: Norysell Massanet, representing Puerto Rico’s Alliance for Agriculture, and Helga Garcia-Garza, representing the Agri-Cultura Network in New Mexico.

RAFI-USA Executive Director Edna Rodriguez is looking forward to joining with partner farm advocates in Washington at the Rally. “Organizations working on the ground directly with BIPOC farmers know the most about what farmers need to adapt to climate change and grow their businesses and local food economies,” said Rodriguez.  “Our goal with the Climate and Equity Policy Project is to ensure that these groups have the funding and resources they need to effectively translate that experience into policy change in the Farm Bill.”

In addition to drawing attention to the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of the climate crisis, farmers will be calling on our nation’s politicians to enact policies that promote racial equity and address the history of discrimination against Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color. It is critical that the expertise and knowledge of these communities to steward the land be recognized in the Farm Bill, and that they are engaged in the development of climate-solution policies and programs.

The Rally for Resilience is a three-day gathering, March 6-8, including a rally, cultural events, a demonstration of climate-friendly farming practices, and meetings of farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers with their elected representatives.  Schedule and details available on NSAC’s website.

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NOTE:  RAFI-USA’s Communications Manager Beth Hauptle will be on site during the three day event. Contact her by phone or text at 919.903.2525 to schedule interviews with attendees in RAFI-USA’s delegation.

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