Springtime is the time for planting seeds. While farmers across the country will begin this process, they are also coming together in DC to plant a different kind of seed in the minds and hearts of their legislators: the seeds that lead to a bountiful harvest of access to local foods. The National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association (NICFA) is hosting its fourth annual Small Farm and Ranch Grassroots Lobby Day and Legislative Reception on March 10, 2010. As our farmers cultivate the land for a rich yield in the future, so must we build and cultivate relationships with our legislators so that we are represented in the halls of Congress. Farmers, restaurateurs, chefs and consumers will spend the morning meeting with legislators and staffers to discuss the importance of having our laws reflect our right to access local foods from the producers we choose. In the early evening, we will all gather to serve our legislators and their staffers a local foods feast prepared by the regions best chefs and caterers.
Local restaurants and caterers will join with our nations farmers to highlight the beauty and bounty of America’s farms. While we are emphasizing and are predominately showcasing local foods, we are also grateful to have products, (in the past usually only available from overseas, such as olive oil and charcuterie) from small farms around the nation.
Legislators need to know where good food comes from. This is an opportunity for them to make the connection that will help our farming freedom thrive and continue giving us access to healthy, safe food. We hope that the foods you contribute and prepare inspires them to stand up for our country’s small farmers.
In previous years, it has greatly impressed our legislators and their aides to have farmers and producers literally standing behind their products. We hope that each of you are able to send someone to represent your farm, product or restaurant. It is through encounters such as these that we will begin to harvest, from our Legislators, and indeed our culture, a loyalty to local foods. And they will begin to realize that the safest food system is through neighbor-to-neighbor food transactions.
Once again, Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms will emcee the event with a great line-up of speakers.
We look forward to working with you! Please contact us if you’d like to contribute food, your talents or for any additional details and information. Contact info below.
Please check our website for additional details www.nicfa.com <http://www.nicfa.com/>
Below is a link to pictures and a write up of last year’s event.
Liz Reitzig, Secretary
National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association