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Re: E-M:/ Tragic loss of family farm to a mega-dairy



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Enviro-Mich message from "David Zaber" <dzaber@chorus.net>
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Mr. Trigger wrote:

"We still need to figure out how to reconcile the pressures to grow farm
operations (including dairy) in order to make any money with the conflicts
land use issues raise."


Dave Zaber replies:

The pressures to grow farm operations comes from a variety of sources, not
the least of which is massive government subsidies that unbalance the
playing field.  These terribly destructive taxpayer subsidies are set to
grow under the new farm bill.

These subsidies take many forms but the outcome is sadly too often the same:
privatization of public dollars by small groups of individuals who's actions
have disproportionate impacts on their neighbors (of course that is when the
actual owners of these farms lives on site). One of these impacts is the
suppression of prices (made easy by externalization of the cost of waste
disposal on to the environment and neighbors) which undercut smaller
operators.

You see, Mr. Trigger, this phenomenon - where costs are socialized while
benefits are privatized - is at the heart of the expansion of animal factors
such as those metastasizing across Michigan.  Whether its oil (subsidies
through military/depletion allowances/waste externalization) or coal mining
(waste externalization, worker health costs, global climate change) or
paper-making (below-cost national and state forest timber sales, agency
responsibility for costs of monitoring compliance, deterioration of roads
from log transport) or any number of other such endeavors much of their
success is due to a transfer of money from taxpayer to private entity via
government.

So, rather than blame the loss of this farm and its take-over by another
mega polluter on the family who ran it, lets try evening the playing field.
After all, its only fair.

Regards


----- Original Message -----
From: "Grant Trigger" <GTrigger@honigman.com>
To: <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>; <anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org>
Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2002 3:10 PM
Subject: Re: E-M:/ Tragic loss of family farm to a mega-dairy


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Enviro-Mich message from "Grant Trigger" <GTrigger@honigman.com>
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Aside from the dairy farm issue this is a classic example of the need for
estate planning - no heir has any right that a person does not want to give
them.  So if anyone wants the "farm" to stay intact they provide for it and
you can avoid forced sales etc.   Without knowing any detail here - farms
can be preserved - Nature Conservancies can help with development rights
issues and pressures and good estate planning can help secure the farm.

We still need to figure out how to reconcile the pressures to grow farm
operations (including dairy) in order to make any money with the conflicts
land use issues raise.  All anyone has to do is drive through the country
and count the number of closed dairy and beef farm lots - it is almost
impossible to make any money unless you grow very large.  We need to be
careful or we will drive farming out of the realistic future of many -
including my brother and many of his friends.

>>> "Anne Woiwode" <anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org> 05/01/02 01:56PM >>>
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Enviro-Mich message from "Anne Woiwode" <anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org>
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Folks:

I have been sent a letter to the Editor of the Morenci Observer that I want
to share with you -- I have to say few things have made me a sad for the
tragedy we have allowed to be inflicted on our rural communities.  Note that
this farm is in the area of 9 other mega-dairies, so the writer clearly
knows the effects of these facilities:

"Regrets expressed about large dairy

The Taylor Family cannot begin to express the deep sadness that has taken
over our lives at this time and will continue for the rest of our lives.
The farm has been the heart of our family since 1941 when it was purchased
by my grandparents, Roy and Minnie Taylor.  The greatest gift from them was
their love of the farm and the importance of family. That gift could be felt
four generations later, long after they passed away.

Every room of the house, every rose bush, every tree and every inch of the
farmland could spark the wonderful memories that we had all enjoyed.
Grandpa's wish was for it to be home to everyone even when they had their
own homes.  His wish was to have that beautiful property last forever, to be
a remembrance of his hard work and the joy that it brought to him and his
family.  Unfortunately, the farm was ordered to be sold due to the death of
one of the heirs.

The months leading up to this dreaded event have been like a slow death. Our
family farm, our connection with the past, the sights and sounds that spark
those little reminders of all the loved ones that have passed before us
would soon be gone.  What kept us going through the wait was a small hope of
buying some of it back, for grandchildren to enjoy and grow to love the way
we had.  But that did not happen.

The farm, the heart of our family, will hold a mega dairy.  If we had been
asked before the auction what is the worst possible thing that could happen,
the answer would have been that we will lose it all. Now I know the true
answer and it has happened.

So now we offer our deepest regret to our neighbors and friends that will
have to live with the possible effects of the dairy. We are truly sorry that
this has happened and would never in a million years have done this if it
had been up to us.  We loved the farm and the neighborhood just the way it
was.

So, as you drive by in the future and resent the giant buildings, the smell
and the flies, please try to remember it as it was: a beautiful farm that
was home to five generations who will miss it terribly.

We were not the ones that invited the mega dairy into our community.  We
respect your right to live the lifestyle you have chosen for yourself and
your families.  We are just sorry that other people do not feel that way.

Sincerely,

Debbie Miller and family

Representing other family members:
Andy Taylor, Richard Taylor, Robert Taylor and family, Gary Taylor and
family, Frank Beckett, Pat Beckett and family, Joanne Beckett-McGuire and
family, Roger Leininger and family, Harold Leininger and family, Jerry
Leininger and family, Roberta Spadafore and family and Robin Scott and
family





AW
<<-->><<-->><<-->><<-->><<-->><<-->><<-->>
Anne Woiwode, Staff Director, Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter
109 East Grand River Avenue, Lansing, Michigan 48906
517-484-2372; fax 517-484-3108  anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org
visit the Mackinac Chapter on the web at http:\\michigan.sierraclub.org



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