Bay Branch Farm

a vegetable farm in lakewood and cleveland, oh | we grow food

Vote No on Ohio Issue 2

3 Comments

In the upcoming 2009 November election here in Ohio, we will be voting on an issue relating to the care and welfare of livestock animals. The actual ballot language can be found at The Ohio Ballot Board, Issue 2. It is not long; it is worth reading. And here is a nice unbiased breakdown of the bill.

There are many articles and blogs posts already written. I found David N. Cassuto blog post at Animal Blawg to mirror my thoughts.

I dislike the idea of more government and bureaucracy  involved with our food production. Mainly because, much like the USDA, this board will be made up of large producers and they will do little to actually help animal welfare, food safety or family farms.

Popa with milking cansPersonally, one of my biggest beefs with this proposal is the use, or misuse of the term family farm. In 2004 the USDA stated that 98% of all farms in the United States are family farms. I guess my idea of what a family farm is needs to change. Here in this article from the Columbus Dispatch, Jim Heimerl calls himself a family farmer, but at 2,500 acres and producing 100,000 pigs per year. Jim, you may have a family and you may have a farm, but that’s no family farm in my mind. I know a number of family farmers here in Ohio who are farming fewer than 100 acres (I’d like to think of myself as one … maybe next year). I’ve been to their farms and seen how they raise their animals. Small family farmers raise their animals using sustainable practices because it is more economical.

This is my grandpa. He was a family farmer, so was my other grandpa, and all my uncles from my mom’s side of the family. Don’t for a second be fooled by the language in this issue regarding family farmers.

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3 thoughts on “Vote No on Ohio Issue 2

  1. Thanks for the mention of my blog post. You are correct, the term ‘family farm’ is nebulous. But I would submit that ‘sustainable agriculture’ is also equally vague.

    • You are welcome!

      The term family farm will always be vague, and the use of it as some kind of pastoral image of idealistic farming, especially with regard to this issue, really burns me up. For all intents and purposes, Cargill is a family farm.

      And I would agree that sustainable agriculture could be vague. Maybe I’ll write a longer post about that. But, it is possible to define some standards for sustainable agriculture. One possibility is, some kind of governing body could create standards for sustainable practices that farmers could choose to adhere for a certification.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Eric

  2. I just found your site. I own an urban farm in Lakewood and would like to meet you – maybe meet for a coffee or a beer or something? I can be reached at info at basilandbeyond dot com.

    Thanks!
    Cindy

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