Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A political departure

A cow [15/365]Image by publicenergy via Flickr

I am not really an outspokenly political person. I have my opinions and I express them to Dave and that is pretty much it. I don’t like to debate politics out loud. Its just the way I am. Very rarely do I get worked up enough to mention something to anyone other than my immediate family. That being said, I think you will understand the level of frustration I felt when this was discovered.
Dave and I headed out with Tarynn to the local (to S-wood) farmers market to see if we could get some local veggies for our week’s meals. While out, I picked up a local paper and we headed back with our goods. I then went out to the front porch to set in my rocking chair. While enjoying the sunshine and fresh air I began to peruse this newspaper. I found an article about a woman in Vermont (swood is close to Vermont) who with her 1 cow, began to sell some wares at the local market such as soap, cheese and yogurt. Shortly after she began to sell her yogurt, the local community really caught on to it and she began to sell in excess of 300 cups per weekend. At I think $1.50 per cup, she was making a significant portion of her annual salary just making her yogurt, and was relying on this money to sustain her family. Then… the government catches word of what she is doing and they decide to demand she cease production until she gets the appropriate license to sell this yogurt. In order for her to do this, she needs to pasteurize the milk in a way that the government deems necessary and the equipment to do this is in excess of $10,000. Unfortunately this woman and her ONE COW cannot make pay this amount of money so she shuts down.

Now…that really burns my behind. How is this one lady and her one cow causing such a stir that the government has to get involved??? So she is shut down, has significantly less money for her family and now is struggling to make ends meet.

The story goes on. I guess someone near to her suggested she contact a Vermont college economics department. It’s their job every year to solve a “real world problem”. The class apparently built her a pasteurizing machine for her and put her BACK into business with the appropriate licenses. I shudder to think of what would have happened if they had not?

I am very passionate about making your own living and trying to keep your life sustainable but is that going to be possible if we have to get through all the red tape just to eat our own eggs or drink our own cow’s milk? If the person is selling the yogurt to the local community and they know they are buying unpasteurized yogurt, isn’t it up to them to decide if they want to buy it or not?
What do you think?

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Jennifer said...

I think sadly the odds are really stacked against the small farmer anymore. With things like NAIS and excessive restrictions aimed to help big ag business and hurt small farmers it is a wonder there are any small farms left. I do love that picture of the cow though!

Lisa said...

It really burns me. I dont understand why the incessant need to be involved other than money.

Chris said...

It's crazy. The worst story I have seen is the farmer in Michigan who was caught up in a sting operation that infiltrated his cow leasing program. People rented cows and, in return, they got the milk for free. You can read the ridiculous story here.

Lisa said...

Hey Chris that is a terrible story!!! A cow sting... don't they have better things to do with their time?