"USDA shifted on me," said Tim Burrack, a farmer near Arlington in northeast Iowa who is chairman of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. He said the Obama administration's local-foods initiative, dubbed "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food," to promote small-scale agriculture, will drive up food costs because large farms are more efficient."
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Are Small Farms a Threat?
Last week this article from the Des Moines Register came across the Practical Farmers of Iowa Listserv. It is an interesting read about new farm policies coming from the USDA and the current national administration. I thought that this quote summed up one side of the article very well,
There is some information from both sides of the coin in the article, but I think the quote from Angela Jackson (a small-scale farmer from northwest Iowa who supplies fresh produce to stores and customers) who is featured in the article. She says, "The consumer is driving this."
While I'm not sure if the consumer is driving all of this (it seems that lately policy isn't always inline with the opinion of the general population) I do believe that the consumer is beginning to make the largest impact and that their voice is being heard. This is an interesting place that we have ourselves in with farmers competing with farmers because they have different ways of doing what are/can be/used to be the same thing.
As I read through an article like this one I keep thinking back to the quotes from the "conventional farmers" in movies such as "King Corn" and "Food, Inc." In both of those films the conventional farmers have said that they aren't trying to hurt anyone or anything ... and I agree with them. They say they are just doing what the consumer demands ... and I agree with that! Maybe we just need to keep counting the votes of the consumers (thank you for all that support our farm!).
What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts on the subjects laid out in the article.