When a reporter from the Patriot News called me last week looking for my thoughts on Senator Pat Toomey’s proposed amendment, instead of saying, “Well, I’m really not well informed enough to comment on this right now,” or “Joshua Farm is such a unique operation because of its urban context, non-profit status, and educational mission that it would be best for you to talk to a more typical farmer,” I got sucked in by that vain part of me who loves to share opinions (however unfounded they may be), especially when it might mean free publicity for the farm. After the reporter gave me a brief overview of the proposed amendment, which would reduce regulations on imported sugar (making it cheaper for consumers and industries to buy imported sugar) and reduce or possibly cut altogether funding for the Farmers Market Promotion Program and Organic Certification Cost Share program, I began spouting half-formed responses, trying to think on my feet, a skill I have yet to acquire after 36 years of trying. After I hung up, what I SHOULD have said became very clear: We’re talking about sugar, for crying out loud! What nutrients does sugar have? What do we eat that has sugar in it that is good for us, really? Reduce the price of sugar?! We should tax it, for crying out loud!
If you want to read what got printed in The Patriot News on Thursday please focus on Brian Snyder’s comments. He’s much more attuned to the needs of small farmers as a group.
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