Letter: Hard times for farmers
Thank you for your feature on Roger Noonan and the New England Farmers Union (Monitor Business page, April 29).
So many people think of farming as a hobby and don’t relate to the reality that to be successful small farms must be considered businesses. Like all businesses, New Hampshire farmers are facing federal and state regulations that go well beyond common sense to complex regulatory threats to their very existence. It seems so strange that as our New Hampshire farmers markets and local food movement have expanded, Congress and the FDA are passing laws and making new regulations that will prevent us from making “local” sustainable.
As a consumer (and farmer’s mother) I am worried about the future of New Hampshire farming. People need to wake up to the need to curb unnecessary laws, rules and regulations that might fit monolithic, mono-crop farms of the Midwest or West Coast but have no place in New England.
Vermont has actually funded groups to study the Food Safety Modernization Act and the FDA’s proposed regulations. Vermont values farmers and wants to protect its farms, which contribute to the Vermont way of life.
We need a wake-up call to our state legislators and governor to protect our farmers before we lose these wonderful, fruitful places that not only provide us with local produce but also provide the open and interesting spaces that make New Hampshire a tourist attraction.