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National Rural Action Network petition

Our good friends at the Center for Rural Affairs have a petition drive going:
We’ve launched a drive to build a National Rural Action Network involving tens of thousands of people. It is the means by which rural people can build the power to shape our own future. It will enable us to deliver the message loud and clear to Congress. It’s time to reverse policies that undermine Rural America and instead invest in our future. Could you add a personal note and forward this email to 5 friends or your email contacts lists or your Christmas card list? Please also sign the on-line petition yourself. I appreciate anything you can do to help. Thanks. Chuck Hassebrook Sign the Strengthen Rural America Petition! – Then, take another step and forward this e-mail to everyone you can! The Center for Rural Affairs National Rural Action Network will deliver the petition signatures to your Senators and Representatives. We will also alert all who sign on when contacting their elected officials or taking other action will make a crucial difference on a rural issue before Congress. With your help, the National Rural Action Network will grow to tens of thousands of people speaking out for Rural America, perhaps even more. Please ask five or more people to Sign the Petition! – Strengthening Rural America Strengthens All of America!
  • America is strongest when all of its communities are strong and all of its people have access to genuine opportunity. Rural America is a valuable part of America. Rural communities are not sharing in the nation’s prosperity. This hurts all of us.
  • To contribute to the nation’s prosperity, rural America must share in it. When communities are weakened, the bonds that make us strong are weakened. In strong communities we are more likely to help each other. To uplift rural values, we must lift up rural communities.
  • The WalMarting of the American economy – the destruction of family farms and small business – is shrinking the rural middle class. People denied a stake in the American dream, are less likely to take responsibility for sustaining it.
Congress Must Act Now to Revitalize Rural America! There are practical strategies that work to revitalize rural communities. But local initiative must be matched by federal policies that support rural revitalization, rather than hinder it. The 2007 farm bill provides an opportunity to change course.
  • Rural Entrepreneurship – traditional economic development based on industrial and business recruitment does not work for most rural communities. Small business development works. It draws people back to our communities by creating economic opportunity.
  • Payment limits – The single most effective thing Congress can do to strengthen family farms is to cap farm payments and stop providing subsidies that mega farms use to drive smaller operations out of business. Capping payments to mega farms will also save money that can be invested in initiatives that create a future for Rural America. [emphasis added]
  • Family Farm and Ranch Innovation – Improve farm income by helping family operations pursue new, high-value markets. Offer federal grants for market analysis, feasibility studies and cooperative development.
  • Beginning Farmers and Ranchers – the future of agriculture depends on the next generation of family farmers and ranchers. Invest in training, mentoring, linking and education for beginners and help them gain access to profitable markets and affordable land and capital.
  • Conservation – preserve land and water by rewarding farmers and ranchers for good stewardship on working lands.
Please ask five or more people to Sign the Petition! – Chuck Hassebrook Executive Director Center for Rural Affairs

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