February 17, 2007

The Future of Farming - New York Times

The Future of Farming - New York Times

This assessment by the Times' editorialists suggests that the proposed farm bill may be on target.

My frame of reference is Vermont's ailing dairy industry and I don't know how the proposal would affect it. Suffice to say that uneconomic agriculture may need some shoring up, but not by convoluted pricing paradigms that work against the small dairy farmer.

It's clear to me that Vermont cannot compete with large, efficient dairy operations elsewhere in the country producing bulk milk. If federal ag policy encouraged Vermont's small farmers to switch from bulk milk dairy to alternative specialty products, that would be a welcome change.

Vermont farmers must find a way to profitably keep the land open because so many other benefits flow from that.
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