Agriculture Workshop Comment Number: AGW-13990

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Comment Number: AGW-13990

From: on behalf of
Chris Howell
Sent: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 11:14 PM
To: ATR-Agricultural Workshops
Subject: Comments Regarding Competition Issues in the Agriculture Industry

To whom it may concern:


I am the owner of Vermont Farm Tours, a Vermont-based culinary tour company.Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you.As a small business owner that makes my living connecting consumers with Vermont producers and farmers, the health and diversity of the region’s agricultural sector is very important to me.

Recent state-level policy changes regarding the on-farm slaughter of poultry, sale of raw milk, and the on-vineyard sale of fortified wines have been a tremendous benefit to small producers, consumers, and my company.

While Vermont is taking strides in a direction that benefits small producers, federal regulations (specifically those surrounding milk, cheese, and meat processing/sale) remain targeted at large-scale production.Whether this is due to a powerful lobby dominated by a a handful of companies is for you to decide.But I would urge you to take into consideration the economic implications of leaving out a growing sector of our nation’s agricultural economy—the small farmer—from the negotiation process.

My company and those that do business with small producers, like restaurants, stand a lot to gain from providing small farmers a seat at the negotiating table.

Thank you for this opportunity.  I very much appreciate the open environment you have created to approach these issues.


Chris Howell

Updated April 7, 2016

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