TFF Meeting Report: Where We Go From Here

If you weren’t able to make it to the Tennessee Farmers and Freeholders meeting last night in Franklin, you really missed out. Подробное описание Sweet Bonanza'da Kazanmak İçin Stratejiler тут.

Not only did Frank Niceley give a fascinating speech telling the news of a very hopeful year for small farm legislation in Tennessee, but also there were a bunch of dedicated people there—farmers, their customers, and folks aspiring to be both.

By now you all know that Democrats hold sway in Washington. The opposite is true in Tennessee. The Republicans now hold the majority in both the House and Senate. Please do not stop here and mistake this bit of info for an endorsement of the Republican Party. I mean it simply to point out that Republicans have and generally will favour legislation for small farmers. What benefits small farmers, of course, benefits their customers and the local economies we live in.

A perfect case in point was the position of several farmers at the meeting last night who sell pastured poultry. Even though the USDA grants them a 20,000 bird exemption from Federal Regulations, the State of Tennessee ignores that exemption and makes them drive to Bowling Green, Kentucky to have their birds processed. As you can imagine, this costs quite a bit for the farmers, who are then forced to raise their price for birds. This needless practice (notice I did not say legislation—this is not the result of legislation, but a practice by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture) hurts farmers and their customers.

As farmers and friends of farmers we understand the trust required for us to work together. A farmer, by selling directly to you, his customer, is directly accountable to you, personally, and is therefore driven to make sure you receive (please note this carefully) food better than what he eats. If you get a chicken from him, you’re not getting the ones with the broken wings and torn skin. Those less than perfect items are what he and his family eat.

Therefore, as you can see, if a farmer, directly responsible to you, can process birds himself and sell them off his farm, his costs drop dramatically, and, logically, so would the price he has to charge you.

At stake is more than farmers and consumers. The fallacy of depending on a national economy at the expense of local economies is being made plain in the current economic crisis. We must rebuild thriving, sustainable, local economies, not only for farmers and consumers, but for all Tennesseans. The only sure
foundation for this rebuilding is to revitalize local agriculture. All the rest of the economy is built on agriculture, so if agriculture withers, the local economy shrivels up and dies.

The poultry case above is just a small example of how Tennessee Farmers & Freeholders can work to help all of us.

But it can’t be done by one or two people. We still need your help.

  • We need help researching and drafting legislation.
  • We need help monitoring legislation.
  • We need you to not just call your representatives, but, please, please, come to the legislative offices when there are hearings. Believe it or not, your simple attendance can work wonders.

Please join us in this fight, and encourage your friends to stop by Everyone needs to sign up for email updates (see the top right of this page) to make sure we have the means to contact you when necessary.

Finally, please join and support Tennessee Farmers and Freeholders if you haven’t already by downloading and completing a membership application and mailing it to the address on the form.