Action Alert: Help Pass Soil Health Subcommittee SB 180 through the Senate
On 2/26/21 the Senate Natural Resources Committee passed the Soil Health Subcommittee Bill (SB 180) 7-5. SB 180 is now moving to the Senate floor and will go up for vote in the next week. We need your help to make sure Montana’s senators vote in favor of soil health and pass SB 180.
You can find your elected officials and their contact information by visiting https://leg.mt.gov/legislator-lookup/.
Please call your senator and ask them to support the Soil Health Subcommittee Bill (SB 180). Below is an example script you can use. We encourage you to personalize it before contacting your senator. Every call helps to pass this bill through the Senate floor.
“Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME] and I live in [INSERT YOUR TOWN HERE]. I am calling to ask you to support the Soil Health Subcommittee Bill, SB 180. Healthy soils allow farmers and ranchers to keep more money in their pockets, build resilient farms and food systems, and protect water quantity and quality. Keeping soil healthy is especially important to Montana, where agriculture is a leading industry. The task force proposed in SB 180 can address the unique needs of and challenges faced by Montana’s producers as they work to scale up the use of soil-building practices. Investing in a soil health study will lead to a stronger and more resilient Montana.
Please support the Soil Health Subcommittee Bill, SB 180 and ensure it passes through the full Senate. I appreciate your time and consideration.”
Tips for calling your representatives:
- Let them know that you are a constituent. Be sure to say the community you are from. Elected officials are most interested in your opinions if you are their constituent.
- Know your facts. Be sure you have the basic information about your topic in front of you when you call. You should be able to specifically describe the topic about which you are calling and state your opinion on what your legislator should do. To learn more about SB 180, please visit http://www.growmt.org/policy.
- Add your own words. The provided script is useful, but you should make the phone call as personal as possible. Representatives and staffers want to hear your individual story and how the issue impacts you on a personal level.
- Note your expertise. If you have professional experience with the issue you are calling about, be sure to mention it (e.g. farmer, rancher, member of an agriculture organization, etc.). This will establish your credibility on the issue and may even prompt the aide to ask you for some guidance on the issue.
- Be brief. Elected officials receive a high volume of phone calls every day, so keep your call short and to the point.
We encourage you to call your senators—it’s one of the most powerful ways you can weigh in on SB 180. However, if you prefer to write to your elected officials, please contact them through this form to ask for their support the Soil Health Subcommittee Bill. Below is a template you can use. We recommend you personalize it before sending it to your senators.
Dear Senator [INSERT YOUR ELECTED OFFICIAL HERE]:
I live in [INSERT YOUR TOWN HERE] and am writing to ask you to support the passage of the Soil Health Subcommittee Bill (SB 180).
Healthy soils allow farmers and ranchers to keep more money in their pockets, build resilient farms and food systems, and protect water quantity and quality. Keeping soil healthy is especially important to Montana, where agriculture is the leading industry. While federal programs support the adoption of soil-building practices, state leadership can address existing gaps and provide for the unique needs of and challenges faced by Montana’s producers to scale up the use of soil-building practices. The task force established through this bill will identify those gaps and provide recommendations for how to close them so that Montana’s farmers and ranchers get the resources they need, the way they need them.
The Soil Health Subcommittee Bill builds upon important work that has already been done in the state by:
- Establishing a task force made up of 16-members to make recommendations on the role of a state soil health program.
- Involving broad public input from stakeholders for feedback on local needs and the best ways to address them.
- Assessing soil health conditions and researching soil health programming and resources in Montana to identify the most effective ways to invest in our state’s soil health.
- Reporting findings and recommendations for protecting and building soil health in Montana.
Soil is one of our greatest natural resources. The thoughtful approach to soil health proposed in the Soil Health Subcommittee Bill (SB 180) will address necessary economic, environmental and agricultural issues and lead to a stronger and more resilient Montana.
Please support the Soil Health Subcommittee Bill (SB 180) and ensure it passes through the Montana Senate. I appreciate your time and consideration.