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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: 'Right to Farm' hurts farmers — and everyone else

Friday, August 1, 2014 | 11:31 a.m. CDT

I have been a small farmer for almost all my life.

I founded what became Small Farm Today magazine 30 years ago (and still publish it), and founded the National Small Farm Trade Show & Conference 22 years ago.

I have served on the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Administrative Council. I am a farmer, and I oppose Amendment 1.

Amendment 1 is also opposed by almost all environmental groups, organic farmers and small and family farmers.

The "Right to Farm" bill should be called the "Right for Corporations to Keep Secrets From Citizens and Farmers."

The language of this bill is to keep "farmers" from being accountable. This helps corporate-style large farms, but hurts the family farmer.

Small, organic and sustainable farmers often direct-market their production, and will gladly tell and show what they put on their fields and in their animals, and how their plants and animals are treated.

Just ask them: Family farmers care about and know their plants and animals, and want to please their customers so they return. 

Large confined-animal operations can use this bill to keep their methods and additives secret and expand their runoff to the point it is pollution. This can hurt the rural community and family farmers.

Please vote no on Amendment 1, and preserve the rights of the true family farm and today's small farmer.

Ron Macher and the staff of Small Farm Today magazine are based in Clark.


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