Sustainability, community and localness need to be considered
Billions of tax dollars are being spent to produce unhealthy sweetener. The purpose of our agricultural subsidies is to ensure the health of the public through the maintaining of a sizable community of farmers growing enough food to feed the rest of the country. This does not require that the subsidies go to small farmers only. But it does protect against the handing out of wealth to already wealthy corporations.
The idea of small farmers connotes ideas of sustainability, community and localness. These are important ideals to foster. However, the changes that must be made to the farm bill should not be a result of our government throwing us a bone that appeals to these social ideals. Rather, it should take into account the government’s lack of a budget. I can affirm from hundreds of conversations that I have had with individuals through my work with campaign offices in the Seattle area that people do not want to see their tax money spent on already profitable agribusinesses such as Monsanto.
If this message is going to be heard, people do have to speak out. We cannot wait for the conversation to come to our door. It will come, but if we expect to be ready for it, we have to open the dialogue. Call your representatives, cast your votes, do whatever you can in order to be heard.
Sean Anderson, Lake City