In a letter to Congressional representatives of Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming, RMFU President Kent Peppler, a Mead, Colo., farmer, gave categorical opposition to removing the nutrition title from the Farm Bill. “Our organizational policy, which is set by grassroots members, recognizes the importance of nutrition programs to our nation’s future, security, and well-being,” Peppler said. “We are absolutely opposed to the cynical attempt to divide the interests of agricultural producers and America’s neediest citizens.”
The letter points out that every nutrition dollar puts 20 cents in the pocket of farmers and ranchers. “Someone has to grow the food for programs that feed schoolchildren and the elderly,” Peppler said. According to USDA estimates, 70% of nutrition money goes to households with children, and about 80 percent of SNAP recipients are either employed or on Social Security. A SNAP (“food stamp”) dollar adds $1.80 to the local economy.
The letter concludes, “The effort to break the link between family farms and the urban poor is meant to disenfranchise both groups, a simple hope to divide and defeat. Our members understand that, and they do not support that effort.”