Small Farmers: Don't balance budget on our backs

Work is continuing this week in Washington on a new farm bill. The existing farm bill expires in September.

Lawmakers are already warning that funding will be cut. That has some small farmers concerned that their voices will be drowned out by corporate farm interests.

Ryan Romeyn and his wife, Andrea, operate a small organic farm in northwest Michigan's Central Lake.

Because the growing season is shorter in northern Michigan, Romeyn said the farm bill helped him build hoop houses, which are sort of like greenhouses that lengthen the growing season...

"And it creates a warmer environment in the fall so instead of being done in maybe November, I'll be selling salad by the end of December."

Romeyn said he knows most of the people who buy food from him, and that's why he wants to provide them healthy, fresh produce...

"When the fresh stuff comes in in northern Michigan, people are shopping the stands and people are going to the markets and spending their dollars with us."

Romeyn said a farm bill that helps small farmers will also create jobs. Unlike some corporate farms that use a lot of machinery, Romeyn's farm relies on some local young people to help with things like weeding by hand.

The new farm bill is expected to be unveiled in the next few weeks.


   
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