|This document is also available in PDF format (comparable to original document formatting). To view the PDF you will need Acrobat Reader, which may be downloaded from the Adobe site.|
Comment Number: AGW-13990
|From:||firstname.lastname@example.org on behalf of |
|Sent:||Tuesday, December 29, 2009 11:14 PM|
|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.