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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Michigan wants small heritage pig producers gone by April 1 and Mark’s fighting back

Big meat vs. little meat. The small food producer vs. Big Ag. The regulatory state at the federal and state level are quietly and not so quietly making it impossible for small entrepreneurial food producers to earn a living. Regulations are literally driving them out of business. Meanwhile, monopolistic food powers continue to concentrate. These companies are wealthy enough and big enough to buy/bribe state and federal legislators to pass competition destroying laws and regulations. In America, there is no such thing as bribery - it's a campaign contribution.
Which side will you pick in this skirmish between Michigan’s heritage pig producers and Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources*? And is this just the latest battle in a larger and escalating war between family farmers and Big Farma? On one side of this fight stands the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Michigan Pork Producers Association (MPPA). On the other side are roughly 2,000 small farmers like Mark Baker of Green Acres Farm in Marion. The industrial agriculture folks and state government have instituted new regulations they say are necessary to protect our state from an “invasive species,” the feral pigs roaming wild in the woods...farmer Mark says the regulations as written spell doom for small operations like his that have less than 500 animals, the ones that specialize in heritage breeds. He says this has less to do with protecting the state from an invasive species and more to do with eliminating alternatives to the factory farm model that consumers are learning to prefer.
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Lansing Online News

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