i'd be interested in knowing more about the 'exclusionary contract' . . . if
it is actually a contract, with whom has the supermarket made the contract .
. . if it is some aspect of zoning, i wonder if any legal experts on the
list might comment on its legality, since it would not seem to be justified
by the accomplishment of any public good
> From: Cass Peterson[SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Tuesday 11 August 1998 9:16 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Ag in the Future (Was: Re: No-Till)
> From Karl Hakanson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> > I guess I have real concerns about
> 50-100 years from now. What kind of rural landscape will we have? Will we
> have an efficient nirvana of mega farms (run by machinery operators and
> janitors called "operators") and a never ending vinyl sided parade of
> homes? Who will own this? Who will get to fishin' and huntin' and hiking
> in the countryside? Will there be any "countryside", or just parks and
> wildlife reserves? Will the latest Disney movie keep us at happy? Will we
> just regulate the two farms remaining in each county? (They will have paid
> off the regulators, but hey, it'll be better than doing nothing.)
> Your concerns are my concerns. Not just for the farms but also for the
> rural communities that the farms support. My rural PA county is heavily
> agricultural, by land use. Still, farmers account for less than 20% of the
> population (although ag-related business accounts for 75% of the economic
> activity). As farmers, aged and broke, go out of business on a regular
> basis, what will happen to the land and the economic activity?
> Answer: The land will be bought up by weekenders and soon-to-be retirees.
> Ag land is right cheap where I live, because it really isn't suitable for
> mega-farming (too slopey for those 200HP tractors). The weekenders and
> soon-to-be retirees will look in vain for some "farmer" to lease the land
> to, so it can look appropriately agrarian to their city visitors.
> Or they will look (also in vain, because everybody local is driving two
> hours daily to a construction job in the 'burbs) for a local caretaker to
> mow the grass and keep the fences up so that they can enjoy the view of
> ridge on their weekend visits.
> A few (but a precious few) of them will buy the land with the intent to
> farm it. If they're anywhere close to me and give me the slightest clue
> they're interested, I will give them all the help I can.
> Direct marketing is the salvation of this farm. Straight to the consumer,
> no middlemen. The DC/Baltimore area (my marketing area) is so hungry for
> that connection that communities are trying to start up their own weekly
> markets. The biggest problem? Not enough farmers.
> I know farmers who skip from one market to the next, looking for the most
> lucrative. They must, and I don't blame them one whit.
> I have, right now, in the walk-in cooler, the most beautiful (and
> completely organic) cucumbers and eggplant this farm has ever grown, and
> GOOD market to sell it to. The restaurant orders are down, because
> is going out of session and the biz entertainment in DC crawls at that
> time. I used to have a great farmers' market on Thursday, where people
> would gladly have bought my superior produce, but that market closed
> because a new supermarket moved into the neighborhood and has an
> "exclusionary contract", which means no produce can be sold within roughly
> 20 light years of it.
> I'm not whining. I'd rather have too much wonderful food to sell than too
> little, but I will not, and cannot, sell it wholesale for less than it
> costs to produce. I do not have a side business (such as, maybe,
> Prudential) that could use the tax breaks.
> I'd sure like to keep this farm going, and I'll figure out a way to do it.
> The countryside is beautiful. The insect population (good, bad, and
> indifferent) astounds the entomologists from PennState. Our soil keeps
> getting better.
> Equally important, we now employ three local women (one full-time, two
> part-time) who used to work for London Fog until it moved the jobs to
> Mexico. We gave jobs to six local high school and college kids this
> We hired three apprentices from urban areas who desperately need an
> understanding of the land.
> >(Hey, talk about losing it, this guy's a wacko for sure!)
> Well, welcome to the club, Karl.
> Cass Peterson
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