It is clear to me that you raise valid points that should be presented
to a concerned public. Since you are the one that sees and feels these
things things (I myself am out of the U.S. most of the time and am not
presently farming in the U.S. so you are certainly taking the heat more
I am, for instance), you are the logical one to provide the leadership
needed to drive these points home to the people in policy making
positions. These people respond to pressures that come from numbers,
from organized groups. I strongly suggest that you organize a movement
to represent those who share your point of view. You may want to
channel your passion in a colder but more effective way. You can be
instrumental in getting these changes recognized and acted upon. I am
not aware of anyone else putting the energy into this issue that you are
(and knowing Eric K. personally, I doubt that he's going to be of much
help - he certainly didn't follow though on any of the committments he
made to me personally, or even return some things I foolishly loaned
him), and I think you would be better off taking to time to put a name
on your cause, (i.e. "Small Organic Farm Defense Movement - SOFDM or
whatever), delineate your goals in print and collect enough signatures
to either get the attention of policy makers or get a proposition on the
ballot. I include below a (very) few of the points you've brought out
that make a lot of sense:
> the UDSA/NOP
> is being cruel and heartless saying that a small farm is $5000 or less > and anything over $5000 should be taxed. It
> looks to me like a small farm would fall at about 50 acres or less.
> There is a direct link between small farmers and the promotion of
> sustainable agriculture efforts. In order to encourage this link, we > should not tax the small organic farmer.
> I think anything under 50 acres should qualify for the small farmers > > exemption.
> I do not know where the USDA/NOP came up with the $5000 number but ... > This number is
> way to small and the NOP will be a burden on the small farmer that we > so much want to save.
> The introduction of new crops, animal enterprises, and new methods of
> structuring agricultural production make the effective delivery of
> agriculture technological, financial management, and marketing > > services to diverse clientele more important than in the past. > > Organic farming give the small farmer hope and we should help them not > tax them.
> The questions are:
> 1. How are current USDA programs helping or hurting the viability
> of small farms?
Let them know!
> 2. What are the needs of small farms in terms of
> financing, research, extension, marketing and risk management and > < other areas?
> What recommendations would you make about these needs that could be
> part of a long-range strategy to ensure the continued viability of > < small farms?
> 3. Are there innovative non-governmental or state efforts to assist
> beginning and smaller independent farms that might be replicated or
> supplemented at the Federal level?
Get your movment organized and on the map.
> 4. What changes in USDA policy or practices are needed to make USDA
> programs in the areas of credit, research, extension, marketing, risk
> management and other areas more effective in enabling small farms to
> survive and thrive?
Provide feedback - but do it as an organization. You'll have to form
one, if you haven't yet.
> 5. What new programs could provide effective and affordable support
> for small farmers as commodity programs are phased out?
Take them up on it. Present them with a program.
> 6. What can be done to assist beginning farmers and farm workers to
> become farm owners?
Tell them - Withdraw the tax or raise the acreage requirements.
> 7. What role should the Federal government play to ensure a
> diversified, decentralized and competitive farm structure?
Provide your input.
> 8. What do small farms contribute to your community and your state?
> 9. What other generic issues pertaining to small farms should the
> Commission consider?
>I would say that the USDA will go a long way to help the small farmer > by raising the small farmers exemption to 50 acres or more before the > extra expenses kicks in.
> The purpose of the Commission is to gather and analyze information > regarding small farms and ranches and recommend to the Secretary of > Agriculture a national policy and strategy to ensure their continued > viability. The Commission's next meeting is October 14 and 15, 1997.
Be there and be heard!
> The USDA/NOP cost may hurt the small organic farmer and handlers and > > they should rethink the $5000 and raise add a 0 to the end . They > > > should say $50000 in farm sells to be fair to the small farmer and > > handlers
I'm sure you get the picture.
Douglas M. Hinds, Director General Centro para el Desarrollo Comunitario y Rural A.C. (CeDeCoR) (Center for Community and Rural Development) - (non profit) Petronilo Lopez No. 73 (Street Address) Apdo. Postal No. 61 (Mailing Address) Cd. Guzman, Jalisco 49000 MEXICO U.S. Voice Mailbox: 1 630 300 0550 (e-mail linked) U.S. Fax Mailbox: 1 630 300 0555 (e-mail linked) Tel. & Fax: 011 523 412 6308 (direct) e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, dhinds@.ucol.mx
To Unsubscribe: Email email@example.com with "unsubscribe sanet-mg". To Subscribe to Digest: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command "subscribe sanet-mg-digest".