Agriculture Workshop Comment Number: AGW-13476

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Comment Number: AGW-13476

From: Emily C. Dahmen
Sent: Monday, December 28, 2009 4:56 PM
To: ATR-Agricultural Workshops
Subject: Comments Regarding Agriculture and Antitrust Enforcement Issues in Our 21st Century Economy

Dear Dept of Justice:
When I think of food, here is what I would love to see:
+ An abundance of organic, fresh, locally grown produce. I live in Boston, Massachusetts. Our MA farmers can grow food from the early spring through late fall (using cold frames in the cooler months). Yet even in the "healthier" city stores, the majority of food comes from California or even further away. This is true even in the summer!
+ Organic, ethically and locally raised meat. I want to buy meat from animals bred and cared for on smaller farms. I want the animals to have been fed well, and free of hormones like rgbh. I want to be able to visit the farm where they are raised, so I can see how they are treated. No more mass produced turkeys in cages whose legs break because they have been bred to be "Butterballs." I want truly free range, outdoor roaming, small herds, etc.
Honest labeling of food - When a package says "free range," I want that to mean that the animal was actually able to actually roam outside, uncaged. I want to know that there are no genetically engineered ingredients in the food I buy. I want to know my food has not been irradiated to preserve shelf life. And I want to know if "Grandma Josephine's Down-Home Bakery" is really just Nabisco or Kraft posing behind a mom-and-pop front.
Subsidies for small farmers, who are better connected to the land, and who are more likely to plant a variety of vegetables, rather than mono-crops.
Lessons in seed-saving and gardening taught in public school, to preserve varieties of seeds, and to engage Americans at an early age in growing produce. 
May it be so.
Emily Dahmen

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