[Market-farming] NAIS

Wiediger, Alison alison.wiediger at hart.kyschools.us
Thu Nov 2 09:08:12 EST 2006


Yep, bad policy.  I meant that they should exclude all of us who direct
market - sorry you misunderstood.  But what else can we expect from
paper pushers in Washington?

 

________________________________

From: market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:market-farming-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of road's
end farm
Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 8:04 AM
To: Market Farming
Subject: Re: [Market-farming] NAIS

 

 

On Nov 1, 2006, at 11:06 AM, Wiediger, Alison wrote: 

	  

	Cattle going to sale barns and then to CAFO facilities are a
quite different story.  Direct marketers should be exempt 

 

NAIS to the best of my knowledge not only has no exemption for direct
marketers, but also has no exemption for, and in fact specifically
includes, animals not expected to enter the food chain at all. I believe
that not only animals to be eaten by the family who raises them, but
also horses and other animals of "livestock" species that are kept as
pets, transportation, etc. are included. Also, all movement of the
animal from or back to its originating party is to be reported, not only
movement for purposes of sale. My Mennonite neighbors may take their
buggy horses off their property nearly every day of the week. 

 

On Oct 31, 2006, at 4:47 PM, Brigette Leach wrote: 

	 

	I don't 

	buy the argument that the program will put family farmers out of


	business, either. It's singing the same old sad song, poor
pitiful me. 

	If one can't meet regulations designed to protect our food
supply, then 

	perhaps one should find another occupation. 

 

The disease outbreaks reported frequently in the papers this year and in
other recent years are not the result of small scale production. They
are the result of large scale production, in which diseased spinach from
one field or one sick cow get mixed with large quantities of other meat
or produce; the resultant mixture is then shipped all over the place,
and infects people in multiple states. A system designed to penalize
small producers is not going to decrease your chances of getting sick;
it's going to increase them. 

 

Regulations genuinely designed to protect our food supply would forbid
raising animals in the conditions most likely to encourage disease: that
is, large confinement operations, especially those feeding an unnatural
diet. (Cattle fed diets very heavy on grain have different conditions in
their digestive systems, which encourage the growth of the pathogenic
strain of E. coli.) 

 

Many years ago, the government responded to disease problems in milk by
requiring, not only that the milk test as clean (which was perfectly
reasonable), but that specific processes be undertaken on the farm to
produce this cleanliness. When most small producers managed to meet the
first set of standards (witness all those concrete milkhouses attached
to the remains of old dairy barns), the standards for production
techniques were made stricter and more expensive. Most small dairy
producers went out of business. The problem wasn't, in most cases, that
they couldn't produce clean milk; it was that they couldn't afford the
specific technology being required; which was required despite the fact
that it was possible to produce clean milk without that technology, and
that it was possible (and is in fact done) to test the milk to confirm
that it was clean before it entered the standard food distribution
system. 

 

A smaller number of years ago, salmonella started turning up in eggs
produced by large confinement operations; the chickens had chronic
lowgrade infections in their oviducts, and the disease organism was
getting inside the eggs. This problem did not begin on small farms --
people had been raising chickens for thousands of years in conditions of
varying sanitation or the lack of it, and the insides of eggs remained
generally sterile. Did the government close down those operations
causing the problem? No. Did the government require that the chickens be
tested, and infected ones removed from the food chain? No. Did the
government require that chicks be tested before sale to others as future
egglayers? No. Did the government require that the chickens be raised in
an environment less conducive to disease? No. What the government did
was to announce that from now on everybody needed to hardcook their
eggs. 

 

I don't think there is a widespread deliberate conspiracy against small
farmers, or small business in general, among members of the US
government. But most of them know nothing much about either; and they
(like most of us) tend to believe who they have lunch with. Who do they
have lunch with? The people who can afford to spend time hanging out
with them. Who is that in this case? The owners of very large farm
operations; and the producers of microchips. 

 

-- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 5 mostly 

Fresh-market organic produce, small scale

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