With the likelihood of more terrorist attacks, it is apparent that the safety of America’s food supply Is very much at risk.
We of the Ohio Family Farm Coalition have been advocating the protection and strengthening of the family farm system of agriculture and the development of smaller food-processing and packaging operations on or near family farms in Ohio and across this vast nation.
But for years, our agricultural “experts” have advised American farmers to get bigger and become more efficient or face the consequences. This has led to an increase in mega-sized production and processing operations especially for poultry, dairy, and other livestock, and a decrease in the number of traditional family farms.
It is only logical to fear that the concentration of our food supply into a few huge, factory-like facilities makes an inviting target to those who wish to do us harm.
Many people who reside close to factory farms have complained bitterly about the dangers they face from water and air pollution. While none of these folks would engage in acts of destruction against such an operation, they would, at the same time, not be inclined to be watchdogs as neighbors tend to do with traditional family farms.
It is high time that our schools of agriculture, as well as our state departments of agriculture, rethink the direction in which they are sending us. For your readers’ peace of mind, I suggest they get to know where and how their food is produced and processed, and be willing to pay a just price for that food so that the smaller operations can remain in business and bring you good, safe food.
Fort Jennings, Ohio
(The author is chairman of the Ohio Family Farm Coalition.)