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Organic Consumers Association

Tell Congress to Restore Funds to Important Sustainable Agriculture Program--ATTRA

PLEASE CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE'S AND SENATORS' OFFICES IMMEDIATELY!!

Last week, the Senate passed the "Continuing Resolution," which makes permanent funding decisions for the fiscal year already underway (Fiscal Year 2007), which wasn't completed before the last Congress ended. Distressingly, this resolution would IMMEDIATELY eliminate funding for a program crucial to sustainable agriculture! The Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) program is a highly rated national information service that answers practical questions from farmers and others across the US who call its 1-800 telephone number, print publications from its website, or attend its workshops. Congressman Boozman (R-AR) is circulating a sign-on letter to USDA to fund ATTRA's modest $2.5 million. It's crucial that you call, today if possible, and ask your House member to sign onto that letter. NOW is the time to ask them to sign on, as Congressman Boozman will take this message to USDA early the week of February 26. Senators are also sending individual letters to USDA with the same message. It's easy to call (and your call has a big impact). Please call the congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to the office of your representative and your two senators (this means 3 very quick calls). Ask to speak to the staffer handling appropriations. If he or she is unavailable, leave a message with your name, phone number and the quick message below.

The message is simple. For your representative: Please ask Congressman/woman _________ to sign onto Congressman Boozman's letter asking USDA to restore full 2007 funding to the ATTRA sustainable agriculture information service. (Tell the staffer for your Representative that they can contact Maggie Lemmerman at 202-225-4301 in Mr. Boozman's office to sign onto the letter.) ATTRA is a national valuable source of information to farmers across the US about how to farm using sustainable practices, and it shouldn't be cut.

For your senators: Please ask Senator ___________ to send a letter asking USDA to restore full funding to the ATTRA sustainable agriculture information service. (Tell the staffer for your Senator that John Lewis in Senator Baucus' office (202) 224-2651 can provide information on the wording of the letter that Senator Baucus sent if that's helpful.) ATTRA is a national valuable source of information to farmers across the US about how to farm using sustainable practices, and it shouldn't be cut.

Background:

-  For twenty years, ATTRA has been one of the most reliable sources of information for farmers and others who want fact-based information on a wide variety of agronomic, livestock, marketing, and entrepreneurial questions with reliable information, evaluated and summarized from its extensive database.

-  ATTRA is an extraordinarily efficient program. Though its funding has remained far too small, at $2.5 million since FY02, it accomplishes great work for farmers and consumers around the nation! ATTRA's services are in great demand, exceeding 37,000 technical requests last year and drawing over 2.6 million unique visitors to its website, from which there were over 673,000 publication downloads. It is phone calls like yours that have protected ATTRA and other sustainable agriculture funding in the past.  THANK YOU again for contacting your House representative and senators immediately to keep ATTRA's 2007 funding from being cut! For more about the ATTRA information service, click here <a href="http://www.attra.org"> www.attra.org</a>

Sheilah Davidson
Administrative Director
National Campaign For Sustainable Agriculture
P.O. Box 396
Pine Bush, New York 12566
Phone: 845-361-5201
Fax: 845-361-5204
e-mail: sheilah@sustainableagriculture.net
<a href="http://www.sustainableagriculture.net/"> www.sustainableagriculture.net/</a>

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