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November 2011
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CityLink Seattle

National League of Cities Follows Seattle’s Lead and Adopts Farm Bill Resolution

SEATTLE – The National League of Cities (NLC) passed a far-reaching resolution, “Supporting Healthy Food, Public Health, and Sustainability Practices in the 2012 Farm Bill,” calling for a new Federal Farm Bill that emphasizes supporting regional food systems, healthy food, sustainable agriculture, and social justice for farmers and farm workers.

The Farm Bill is the primary piece of legislation that determines our nation’s food and agriculture policy. The NLC’s resolution was modeled on Seattle City Council’s Farm Bill resolution adopted earlier this year based on the Seattle Farm Bill Principles.

“The NLC agreed that the 2012 Farm Bill must include a broader perspective on this country’s food system,” stated Seattle City Council President and NLC board member, Richard Conlin. “It is important that rural, urban and suburban communities all have a voice in determining the policies that directly affect their economic and social well-being.”

By adopting a national resolution intended to improve federal food policy, municipalities can help shape the outdated policies in the current Farm Bill, adopted in 2008. To help solve our nation’s many health, social, economic and environmental challenges, the nation needs a comprehensive, health-focused food system that addresses the goals of hunger and disease reduction, local and family farm viability, food affordability and accessibility, environmental protection, land use planning, regional resilience, and social justice.

An increased number of local municipalities are beginning to realize the impact that the U.S. food system—characterized by heavy reliance on chemicals, increased processing of foods, long transportation times, and inequitable access to fresh food, particularly for low–income people—is having on health, local food security, hunger, emergency preparedness, climate protection, and economic development.

The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities.