Luján Introduces Legislation to Support Sustainable Farm Product Marketing
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, introduced the Sustainable Farms, Fibers, and Forests Act of 2023 to expand the Local Agriculture Marketing Program (LAMP) to include sustainable fiber and agroforestry products. This legislation will help ensure producers of sustainable fibers and agroforestry products can access the support and market exposure provided under the program, addressing industry needs and removing barriers producers face.
LAMP was established in the 2018 Farm Bill to expand existing grant programs for local farmers, ranchers, and producers to market their agricultural products. This legislation will include sustainable fibers under the Regional Food Partnerships Program. Additionally, this bill will encompass agroforestry producers and allow for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to partner with the National Agroforestry Center.
“Since its creation, the Local Agriculture Marketing Program has helped farmers, ranchers, and producers access local markets.Despite its strides to expand local producers’ marketing, producers of sustainable fibers and agroforestry have not been able to access this vital program,” said Senator Luján. “I’m proud to introduce the Sustainable Farms, Fibers, and Forests Act to help local sustainable farmers overcome barriers by providing access to LAMP funding opportunities and resources. Expanding access to federal resources will help support local sustainable producers and their contributions to environmentally friendly agriculture.”
“This legislation expands market opportunities for crops and byproducts of crops that can expand our sustainable practices, reduce waste and grow rural community opportunities,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte.
“Small to midsize farmers and ranchers who produce and process sustainable fibers have often been overlooked in U.S. agricultural policy. Sen. Luján’s Sustainable Farms, Fibers and Forests Act provides them critical access to the Local Agriculture Markets Program, and is one crucial step toward revitalizing a once thriving industry, building local economies by bringing jobs back to U.S. shores, and reducing the environmental harms of fast fashion,” said Traci Bruckner, Senior Director of Public Policy, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders.
“Enabling federal grant program access for fiber producers is a strategic move towards fostering economic growth and cultural preservation. This initiative acknowledges fiber producers’ pivotal contribution towards a sustainable agriculture system,” said Dave Nezzie, Food & Agriculture Policy Officer, Thornburg Foundation.