Friday, June 24, 2011
More Thoughts on D.C.
All of that made me wonder what I was doing there ... was my voice going to be a voice or a murmur ... did it matter if I shared my story ... where those "asks" I was asking for even worth the time? There was always a thought in the back of my mind that was a little cynical about the system. But, at the same time I will admit that I was slightly intrigued by the process.
The main reason that the our group was out there was to paint a picture of beginning farmers across the country and speak with congressional leaders about the upcoming farm bill ... which I learned may happen anywhere between 2011 and 2013 ... although it is scheduled for 2012. In fact the thing that we were sharing with people was what is considered a "marker bill" for the next farm bill. In this case it was probably one of the first "marker bills".
As I looked at the bill there were things that really intrigued me and things that I questioned. Some of the ideas for allow beginning farmers microloans through the FSA were interesting, but I was always wondering where so much money comes from! As I mentioned last time and will mention time and time again the biggest thing I shared with the people I met with was that I just wanted to be able to compete in the market without having to always fight an uphill battle against my bigger farm neighbors ... there is room for all kinds of farms as long as one of the farming kind doesn't get pushed off the cliff in favor of the other (and I know both sides probably feel like they're the ones headed for the cliff at times).
Just some more of my thoughts ... oh and the picture above is of my (blurry me) and Tom Latham a representative from Iowa ...