Make an impact on local food laws by joining us at the State Capitol on Thursday, March 9. Be on the front lines as we educate legislators about the issues important to our movement.
FARFA’s Local Foods Awareness Day
Thursday, March 9, 2017, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. See the detailed agenda at the end of this page. (If you are unable to be there for the entire day, please come when you can!)
PLACE: Legislative Conference Center, Room E2.002, Capitol Extension, Texas Capitol, Austin (See map here.)
PARKING: Reasonably priced parking is available at the Visitors Parking Lot, San Jacinto Blvd., between 12th and 13th streets. (See map here.)
If you are a farmer, telling your stories can be the most effective way to gain legislative support for our bills! We have funds available to help farmers with travel expenses and to defray the costs of temporary labor. Contact Judith@farmandranchfreedom.org for more information.
Here’s what past participants have had to say:
“When first asked who wanted to go to Austin and talk to people about the raw milk bill, none of the children were very excited about going. But the trip to the Capitol was made ‘mandatory’ regardless of level of enthusiasm. Once there, they really got into talking with the legislative staffers and were impressed that what they were doing could really have an effect on law-making. At the end of the day, they were all asking when we could come back.”
— The Hutchins Family
“Showing up in person creates a relationship and an accountability that our elected officials cannot get away from. The staff is much more responsive to calls and ask for details about what it is we are concerned about. It makes so much difference after the visit. This is where the changes will be made…face to face.”
“I was inspired and impressed by the number, determination and eloquence of the people who showed up. I was encouraged by the general receptiveness and willingness to listen displayed by most of the staffers with whom we spoke. There was one staffer who handled the interview as if there was no way I could understand the complexities of the issue. In response to the topic of changing the way urban farms are taxed, he straight out said ‘there’s no way that’s ever going to happen.’
I was shocked to perceive his narrow view and his unwillingness to consider different options. The upside is that this perception made me realize how very important it is for every citizen who is aware and cares about what’s going on with our food supply to become a lobbyist. To speak again and again and again to those who do not want to hear. To hold those who have authority to form public policy accountable to behave responsibly. To let them know that we are aware. That we are watching. That the old days of ‘Good Old Boys Doing Business As Usual’ are coming to a very quick end.”
Agenda and Logistics
When you get to the Capitol, enter the main Capitol building, and take the elevator down to floor E2. Go down the hallway, and the Legislative Conference Center will be on your right, Room E2.002
We have divided Texas into “regions,” and we’ll ask you to take a seat at one of the tables for your region. We’ll have a list of all the counties and the region to which each corresponds, to simplify finding your table.
9-10:30 a.m.: You will hear a short presentation about how to conduct meetings with the legislators, and we will explain the highlights of all of the bills, each of which will have fact sheets that you will distribute to the Legislators and staff members.
10:30-11 a.m.: We will divide into groups of 2-4 people. Ideally, we’ll have a farmer with each group, as well as someone who has talked with legislators before.
11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Meetings with legislators. Each group will receive a list of a few legislators from their region, and you’ll go to those legislators’ offices to meet with them or their staff. When you finish, you can return to the Conference Room to receive more meeting assignments.
Lunch will be buffet-style, starting at noon, in the Conference Room
3 p.m.: Gather back at the Conference Room to de-brief, share experiences, and talk about the next steps
Attire: Dress so that you, and not your clothes, are the focus. Casual professional clothes are appropriate, such as slacks and button-down shirts or blouses. Comfortable shoes are a must.