This is one of those "in case you missed it" kind of posts. In yesterday’s New York Times, Minnesota farmer Jack Hedin wrote an op-ed that shows very clearly how the federal deck is stacked against small, sustainable, local farms and in favor of Earl Butz’s "get-big-or-get-out" mentality.

The commodity farm program effectively forbids farmers who usually grow corn or the other four federally subsidized commodity crops (soybeans, rice, wheat and cotton) from trying fruit and vegetables. Because my watermelons and tomatoes had been planted on “corn base” acres, the Farm Service said, my landlords were out of compliance with the commodity program.

I never ceased to be amazed at the all-encompassing power of the Golden Rule (The One Who Has the Gold Makes the Rules).

It is pretty impressive to think that these little farmers, scattered about the nation on their 10-, 50-, and 100-acre plots are so viscerally feared by agribusiness conglomerates and the politicians in their pockets.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

What are they afraid of? That someone might produce something Good, Clean and Fair? If their way is so right, so effective, so much better for the health and well being of the nation, then why should they be concerned about a bunch of wacko foodies who think that GMOs and chemicals are not food?

Why? Because the locavores are right and Big Ag knows it. And the only way they can compete is to prevent competition.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.