Overseas Volunteer Opportunities

Chris Sawyer css at ioa.com
Fri May 3 07:05:39 EDT 2002

> We this certainly burns me up. I am a member of a co-op that is struggling
> to survive in a very competitive marketplace serving our state with fresh
> local grown produce. We compete directly with Alberts and Global for our
> customers. We have also tried to get some help from the government and
> agricultural beaurocrats to upgrade our software with no results. They all
> say they want to help but nothing ever happens. I have only managed to sell
> about half of what I grow in the past three years. We sell wholesale as I
> mentioned and work three tailgate markets a week and run a CSA. An extreme
> amount of work I might add. To find that we are actually helping others who
> don't even live in this country to market their stuff burns me up. This is
> just one more way the US fails to help the small local farmer. It seems if
> one is not farming at least 500 acres the US gov has no interest or program
> to help. I hosted a group from the Ukraine two years ago that came here to
> see how we do it. They were representative of huge farms encompassing
> thousands of acres. The small parcels that citizens 'got' have been pooled
> into huge corporation farms. Those folks could help us, not us them. I
> think they are looking at marketing here, not in their own countries.
> Perhaps it is time to kiss the small family farm goodbye. We seem to be
> pushed further and further into the tailgate venue, which at best in our
> area can only supply a few hundred dollars a week income.


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