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“The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is proud to announce that Utah farmers Symbria and Sara Patterson are the winners of the first annual Gravel Road Gang Activism Scholarship, an award recognizing FTCLDF members for success in work on food freedom legislation and initiatives. Mother and daughter own and operate Red Acre Farm in Cedar City, Utah, producing raw milk, meat and vegetables.” ~ Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, January 6, 2016
By Pete Kennedy, Host of the Solari Food Series
There are two food systems: industrial and local. The stronger the local food system is, the better off individual health, food safety, food security, and the rural economy all are. The regulatory climate is the biggest reason there is not a more prosperous local food system; there are too many one-size-fits-all laws where small farmers and local artisans can’t afford the cost of compliance. The best way to strengthen the local food system is by deregulating local food commerce, especially by allowing for unregulated transactions.
The best place to accomplish that goal has been in the state legislatures.
In Utah, the mother-daughter team of Symbria and Sara Patterson have led a revolution over the past five years in working to pass numerous food and agricultural laws, helping to establish a much more favorable climate for local food producers to operate in. The Pattersons explain how they have navigated opposition from agribusiness and state regulators to achieve their success.
In Let’s Go to the Movies this week, I recommend Insight: Slaughtered on Suspicion. The documentary describes the slaughter of 14 million animals in the United Kingdom in 2001 based on the models of Neil Ferguson and the Imperial College. Sixty-five British farmers went on to commit suicide, raising ongoing questions about the computer-modeling-based slaughter of millions of animals. This incident and others like it underscore the importance of ensuring that Pete Kennedy and his guests and colleagues have the resources needed to defend and protect our local farmers, ranchers, and food resources.
It’s the last week of the month, so there is no Money & Markets this week. Subscribers can e-mail or post questions and story suggestions for Money & Markets for the following week here.
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