We made a similar request at the beginning of 2013, and if our request had been accepted then small farmers would have been at the table during the discussions that led to the 2014 Site Selection GAAMP, and perhaps a better solution would have been found. But our request for representation in 2013 was not accepted, and we learned today that the answer this year is the same: the MSFC will not be included as members of the Site Selection GAAMP Committee in 2014, as the committee works toward what will become the Proposed 2015 Site Selection GAAMP.
I believe that reasonable people may disagree on any question, but that there is never an excuse for an unfair process to be used in reaching a decision. Small farmers across the state have lost considerable ground under this administration, and it isn't because we aren't paying attention or because we don't care about the rights that we've lost. Instead, it is because our state agricultural agency is actively working against the agricultural interests of small farmers, and because we are repeatedly denied representation at the policy-making table.
I encourage you to write to the Governor and to the Commissioners of Agriculture to request that members of the
Michigan Small Farm Council be included this year on the Site Selection GAAMP Committee, to represent the interests of small farmers. The email addresses of the Governor and the Commissioners are below.
Wendy Lockwood Banka