Strolling's perspective appears misguided
Editor of the Reformer:
While it's not difficult to understand why people like the idea of local, sustainable agriculture, the Strolling of the Heifers' perspective on the reality of farming appears misguided. Part of their stated mission is "... to connect people and organizations of many kinds around sustainable living and resilient communities." What this means in practical terms is unclear. There is almost no mention of farm workers on their website. How can we build resilient communities when farm workers are grossly underpaid, unrecognized and overworked? How can we believe the Strolling of the Heifers organization is committed to local, sustainable agriculture when they accept support from Target, Wal-Mart and Dunkin Donuts? What is the organization doing to make local agriculture affordable for low-income residents (in a town where over half of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch)?
There are solutions to these structural problems, but many of them, like advocacy for worker-owned farms or heavy government subsidies for local farms over subsidies for agribusiness, involve direct opposition and resistance to our current profit-driven food system, which seems to be the furthest thing from the minds of the Strolling organizers.
Henry Zacchini, Dummerston, June 6