LTE: Ask Sen. Specter to Support Value Added Agriculture and Beginning Farmers

As you read this, the Senate is preparing to debate next year’s funding levels for important rural programs, including support for value added agriculture and beginning farmers and ranchers.

Unfortunately, the bill in the House of Representatives failed to fund these programs adequately. The Senate can make up for the inaction in the House. But in order to make that happen, we need you to act today.

You are in a unique position to make a difference because your Senator, Arlen Specter, serves on the powerful Appropriations Committee responsible for the bill. Can you help by calling Senator Specter as soon as you get this?

Dial 202-224-4254 and leave a message. Urge Senator Specter to fund the Value Added Producer Grant program at $30 million and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Account program at $5 million. After you call, pass this message on to others too.

You can also write online.

The Value Added Producer Grants Program is a competitive grants program to develop new farm and food-related businesses that boost farm income, create jobs, and increase rural economic opportunity. The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Accounts program is a matched savings account program that will enable new farmers and ranchers start or expand their operations.

Thanks for all you do for rural America.

Traci Bruckner
Assistant Director, Rural Policy Program
Center for Rural Affairs
Lyons, NE

P.S. Help us track our progress. Let me know if you wrote or called and what you heard from the Senator’s office. You can reach me by email at

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