I honestly respect your opinion, and am not offended by it. I can also assure you you are not alone in it,

But subsidies are a fact,  they are not going away, and I'd like to see as much of that money go to promoting small, organic and sustainable farms, beginning farmer programs, and conservation programs as possible, instead of to big corporate agriculture. So I choose to advocate for that.

I also believe that our government needs to hear positions like yours. And this is an opportunity to voice them. As messed up as our government is, It still seems important to call it out when whe have the chance. If they don't hear our opinions then they will act on the opinions they do hear.

We might not change much speaking to them, but we will certainly not change anything by remaining silent.

Taylor Reid

Quoting Buggy Ridge Farms <[log in to unmask]>:

> It is my belief that we would all be better off if the government got
> out of farming altogether. Level the playing field. Let the free
> market prevail!
> I am an organic grower/cattle producer and will not take a penny from
> the Federal or State Government. It is time we all become more self
> sufficient and quit relying on government programs and bail outs.
> They only lead to more taxes and special interests.
> We have more environmental problems than ever. Soil erosion and water
> quality issues are worse now than 20 years ago. Fence rows are being
> torn up at an alarming rate. Small farmers can barely get by as big
> farmers gobble up all the subsidies and get bigger raising land
> values and rents.
> I am not trying to offend anyone here or step on any toes. I believe
> strongly in our philosophy as organic growers.
> Buggy Ridge Farms
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2011 12:49 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Act Now: Call Sen. Stabenow About the Ag Budget
> Help Protect Organic Farming and Conservation Funding
> Call Senator Stabenow Today!
> Please call Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown today and tell him to protect
> funding for organic agriculture programs in the 2012 budget. Senators
> only have until Friday, May 27th so it’s important that you call
> today!
> Congress is working on its budget negotiations for 2012. The House
> 2012 Appropriations Bill currently being debated would cut research,
> conservation, and organic programs, which provide crucial resources
> for organic and sustainable farmers.
> The Senate is developing their budget right now, and it needs to
> offer a clear alternative to the current House bill.
> Here's Why:
> - Under the House Appropriations Bill, the Agricultural Marketing
> Service (AMS) would be cut by 10 percent relative to FY 2011.  The
> National Organic Program (NOP) will share in these cuts.
> - The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (ATTRA)
> would be funded at $2 million, down from the FY 2010 level of $2.8,
> and up from the zeroing out it received for FY 2011.
> - Farm bill conservation funding would be cut by nearly $1 billion. 
> The bill would even force the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
> to break contracts it has already signed with farmers enrolled in the
> Conservation Stewardship Program!
> - Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE)
> funding would be cut by $3 million.  The Agriculture and Food
> Research Initiative (AFRI) would be cut by $40 million.
> - The Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program would be cut by $6.4
> million. The Rural Micro-Lending program would be completely
> eliminated.
> - Doing the bidding of multinational meat and poultry conglomerates,
> the bill forbids the USDA from using any funds to write or publish
> the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA)
> rule to make livestock and poultry markets fairer and more
> competitive, a rule Congress directed USDA to write as part of the
> 2008 Farm Bill.
> Senator Stabenow heads on the subcommittee that decides agricultural
> funding levels.
> Your quick call to Senator Stabenow today is crucial to ensure
> organic and conservation program funding in 2012.
> Senator Stabenow can be reached at 202-224-4822.
> The Points to Make are Simple:
> - As a constituent of Senator Stabenow, I’m asking that she please
> support funding for critical research, organic, and conservation
> programs in 2012 that are important to organic agriculture.
> - Please fund the National Organic Program at $9.89 million. Organics
> is the fastest growing agricultural sector in the U.S., and organics
> need full funding to respond to growing consumer demand. 
> - Please fund the Organic Transitions Integrated Research Program
> (ORG) at $5 million, and the National Sustainable Agriculture
> Information Service (also known as ATTRA) at $3 million, both of
> which help meet farmers’ research and information needs.
> - The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the
> Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and other conservation
> programs must retain maximum funding to support rural economies and
> protect soil and water quality.
> - The cuts proposed are unjust, threatening economic recovery in
> rural communities struggling to create jobs, find new markets, and
> renew economic life.
> To learn more about how the House 2012 Appropriations Bill would
> slash conservation, organic, rural development, and research
> programs, go to
> http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/houe-ag-fy12-approps-bill/.
> Your calls make a difference—THANK YOU!--
> Vicki Morrone
> C. S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems
> Outreach Specialist for Organic Vegetable and Field Crops
> 303 Natural Resources
> East Lansing, MI 48824
> 517-353-3542/517-282-3557 (cell)
> 517-353-3834 (Fax)
> www.MichiganOrganic.msu.edu
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