Taste of Small Farm America Goes to Capitol Hill

Washington, DC Advocacy Day Closes with Farm Fresh Fete

On September 26, 2018 consumers, chefs and farmers, met with legislators and their staff to ask for passage of the PRIME Act, (Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption) Act (H.R. 2657) (S.1232) and to ask for greater access to farm fresh dairy foods. On the latter, activists asked for the House and Senate members to write the FDA and ask for their response to the Citizens Petition filed by Attorney Jonathan Emord on behalf of the Real Food Consumer Coalition in April 2017. If approved, the FDA would not enforce against farmers transporting raw milk over state lines to willing consumers provided it was labeled with risks and “home pasteurization” instructions.

Congressman Tom Massie of Kentucky, Liz Reitzig and Congressman Lloyd Smucker of Pennsylvania

The legislator outreach event was orchestrated by long time local food advocate, Liz Reitzig. Liz is founder of the Real Food Consumer Coalition (RFCC). Liz has previously organized similar successful citizen education efforts on both the state and national level.

There are currently 22 sponsors of the PRIME Act in the house. It is a bi-partisan bill and was introduced by the two ranchers in Congress, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Chellie Pingree of Maine. An identical bill in the Senate is sponsored by Senators Rand Paul and Angus King. See official Real Food Consumer Coalition press release about the event.

Learn More About PRIME ACT on this short Video:
PRIME ACT Explained-Congressman Massie.

Following the full day of meetings, Top DC Chefs and small farms teamed up to feed Congress a wonderful array of appetizers, stews, breads, meats and cheeses. The reception was called Taste of Small Farm America. Here are some of the photo highlights of the event.

Congressman Thomas Massie speaks to Amish Farmers


Crowd listens to Jonathan Emord speak.


Steve of Green Plate Catering took donated farm produce to make a squash, topped with crispy sweet potatoes with watercress puree dish to highlight what small produce farmers add to the American plate.


On Each Table was a Sign Designed to Educate Hill Staffers about Local Foods.

This is a wonderful idea if you do an event for your state legislature or local community. Sign up for the RFCC newsletter and the digital artwork for these signs is available upon request from RFCC.

All the way from Boston, Farmageddon filmmaker and restaurant owner, Kristin Canty and her executive chef served pork rillettes, the acorn-fed pork was sourced from Virginia’s Oakham farm.


Ype Von Hengst’s team of chefs from Silver restaurant serve heirloom tomato, goat cheese and fresh herb bruschetta to showcase a variety of Maryland farms.


Artisan cow milk cheeses from Pennsylvania Dutch farms.


Chef Steve Haugie of Main Event Catering served sliders made with Congressman Thomas Massie’s Black Angus Beef from the state of Kentucky.

The enthusiastic volunteer staffing the door hung this outside the door. A nice greeting to ponder as the guests left the workday behind and entered the Taste of Small Farm America festivities. We must appreciate how hard the Capitol Hill staff works and how much responsibility they carry for bringing our message to our legislators.

Show your support for the PRIME ACT and Raw Milk!

Please call your Congressman or Senator’s office and ask to speak to the Legislative Aid for Agriculture. If he or she is not available, tell the receptionist of your support for the PRIME ACT and greater access to raw milk.

Follow this Take Action link to support RFCC efforts for local foods!


Kimberly Hartke is the publicist for the Real Food Consumer Coalition.

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