Food Series: Champion of the Small Farmer with Senator Frank Niceley

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“Energize the small farmers and get the red tape out of the way. IIt] doesn’t cost money; you don’t have to subsidize them. All you have to do is get a big eraser and get in the code….” ~, Frank Niceley, “All Good Farm Bills Start from the Ground Up, or What I did on My Summer Vacation” ~ FTCLDF 2014 Food Freedom Fest DVD, disc 1, videotaped speech, Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund , 2014.

By Pete Kennedy

Those states that have laws favorable to the local food system generally have a champion in the legislature protecting and expanding the rights of small farmers, local artisans, and their patrons. In Tennessee that individual has been state senator Frank Niceley, a fifth generation cattle farmer, who is largely responsible for creating one of the more favorable regulatory climates in the country for the family farm. If a Tennessee farmer is having a problem with an inspector, Frank is often one of the first calls the farmer makes.

With his command of the issues, knowledge of history, and his ability to form successful strategies for changing the law, Niceley has removed one regulatory roadblock after another confronting small farmers in Tennessee. In this podcast, Niceley discusses his role in the development of the PRIME Act, why big Ag and little Ag can coexist, his legislative victories, and how to effectively convince legislators to support your cause.

In Let's Go to the Movies, I recommend Farmageddon: The War on Family Farms by filmmaker Kristin Canty.

Farmageddon: The War on Family Farms

Farmageddon: The War on Family Farms

Reviews of Movie:

New Yorker article

LA Times article



Related Reading:

From The Moneychanger: Senator Frank Nicely – Restoring Freedom in Tennessee

Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund

The Weston A. Price Foundation

Solari Reports:

Solari Food Series