Get Small and Get In

October 9, 2009 - 10:04am -- Anonymous

"Get small and get in!" is the new message from the federal government, according to Denis Thoet, who manages Long Meadow Farm in West Gardiner, Maine. In his Kennebec Journal article "Wisdom of helping small farmers begins to take root throughout U.S.," he contrasts USDA programs that for decades have benefited expansive agricultural operations with new programs that can benefit smaller farm operations.

“‘Get big or get out!’ The cry of the 1960s through the end of the last century, pretty much told the story about farming in America,” writes Thoet. “‘Get small and get in!’ The new cry emanates from the federal government, which is looking at ways to bring back small farms by helping beginning farmers buy land, become energy efficient and have access to expertise that can help them succeed.”

It's especially hard for beginning farmers to solve the problem of “How can they afford to get into farming without starting with a mountain of debt?” Thoet is impressed by how the FSA loan program and USDA REAP program is helping to solve that problem.

Read the full story at the Kennebec Journal.