Alert (Texas): Speak up for local foods, meet with your legislators

What makes elected officials pay attention to an issue, such as raw milk or cottage foods, out of the hundreds of issues that they hear about through emails and postcards and online petitions?

Your elected officials pay attention when they see that the issue is really a high priority for their constituents. The best way to send that message is through an in-person meeting! You not only show your commitment, you also “put a face” on the issue.

Right now, Texas state legislators are in the process of creating their list of priorities for the 2015 legislative session, and we want supporting local farmers and local foods to be on that list!

Can you make some time in the next few weeks to meet with your State Representative and Senator (or the candidates running for your district)?

Citizen Lobby Day 2013It’s a simple process. Check out “Successful Meeting with Your Legislators,” a guide we have compiled with tips for how to arrange the meetings, and how to effectively communicate during the meeting.

We also have fact sheets available on several important issues for the 2015 Texas legislative session, to help you prepare and to have something to leave behind for the legislators and staff to review in more detail. You don’t need to cover all these issues — just pick the 2 or 3 issues that matter the most to you.

Fact sheets are available on:

  • allowing sales of raw milk at farmers’ markets and through delivery;
  • increasing opportunities for home processed food;
  • providing fair property taxes for small farmers, urban farmers, vegetable growers, and community gardens;
  • limiting the permit fees imposed on direct-marketing farmers and farmers’ market vendors;
  • providing a voice for small producers on the Texas Animal Health Commission;
  • helping small farmers and artisan food producers navigate the regulatory maze by creating an ombudsman position; and
  • GMO labeling

Face-to-face meetings with your elected officials and their staff are a powerful way to get to know them and communicate your views on important issues. Please help us build the support we need for local foods in the Texas Legislature!

Please contact Judith@FarmAndRanchFreedom.org with any questions and to get copies of the fact sheets.