Friday, September 30, 2011

Stacking the Deck Against Small Farms

Imagine owning a Mom and Pop Hardware Store. Imagine that every time you sell a power tool, a dollar is taken from you by the "Hardware Retail Alliance". This money goes to advertise your big box competitors like Lowes or Home Depot.

That is exactly what happens every time our small farm sends a steer or heifer to a livestock auction.Big Companies like Monsanto and Con Agra are using my beef checkoff money to sponsor something called the "Food Dialogues" a faux town hall meeting to try to undo the damage from Movies like Food Inc. and Farmageddon. You can read about is here in at the American Conservative Magazine's website (AmCon is one of the only truly conservative political magazines left in America).

To make things even better, a judge in Wisconsin has ruled that Americans have no right to produce and consume their own food.

I am no libertarian or anarchist. I do not believe rights are absolute; they end where your neighbors' rights begin. If you see my other blog, you may know that a large part of my off-farm professional work deal with balancing property rights against those of a neighbor or a community at large. Local law properly executed can protect private property while minimizing restrictions. What this judge has done is the equivalent of changing a zoning ordinance from regulating the size of a building to mandating the color of the kitchen walls. It may be a reasonable exercise of law to ban selling tainted milk to school children. What is on my dinner plate from my goat or my garden is my own business.

As Walter Jeffries said, we need to start raising a stink. A good start is buying local and ending EVERY FARM SUBSIDY.


Alex said...

Truly unbelievable. Its like law imploding on itself.
I watched Food Inc and was fully angered by it even though I'm not in the US. Corporations have lost all concept of reality.

Free Range Anglican said...

Oh hey! Welcome back to blogging! I'd missed this particular view on the world. Thanks for posting this. We all need to hear it.