Thursday, March 12, 2009
Saving Connecticut farms
Dairy farmers in Connecticut are in trouble. It is not something new, it is not something that should surprise anyone, and yes, it is time for the legislature to step up and make some changes. The situation is getting desperate, and some representatives are working hard to try to turn the tide.
The numbers are staggering. In 2007, 50 dairy farms closed in the state; there are only 157 left. Of course, we need all the help we can get; visit Save Daisy here, and join their Facebook group. Start calling legislators. This is an urgent problem.
Why is this important? Above all, it is part of a smart growth development strategy. When we talk about smart growth we are not only referring to helping the cities, increasing density, creating transit oriented development or building more and more railway lines. Smart growth is, above all, developing the state in a way that uses our resources rationally and efficiently, and this means going beyond where we build or where we do businesses. It is also about where we do not build, and how we ensure that that our incredibly rich soil is preserved when it makes sense so we can grow our dairy and produce close by.
For a change, however, most of the blame of the dairy industry current situation lays in the Federal government. Connecticut could help farmers in many ways, starting by a rationalization of the broken property tax system that tends to put pressure on development over open land or agriculture use. Head to the Connecticut Farm Bureau for more information.