Canadian and American farm and food agencies are funny things. Strongly driven to favor big corporations and centralization, they have pushed for decades the propaganda that centralizing how everything is grown is a good idea. And even though that push toward corporate centralization has resulted in hundreds of millions of pounds tainted meat, tomatoes with deadly E. coli, and many human deaths and illnesses over the last few decades, they still continue to insist it’s the best way. Yet, it is the antithesis of small, local farming which operates quietly, raising produce and feeding livestock in scattered ways from local resources so that organisms have minimal chance to share disease and contamination. Take the case of the pig flu that has killed millions of pigs in the USA and Canada over the last year. That was the result of centralizing pig feed sources. But in the small, local farm setting, what would have happened is a farmer, feeding his pigs from his own pastures and woods, may have noticed his pigs were getting sick and culled them–end of story. In fact, since this flu resulted from giving pigs feed laced with pig blood for protein, and small self-sustaining small farms use more natural feed sources, such as pasturage and woodlands, this mess would have been unlikely ever to start on a small farm. Such a disaster as this can only happen because in the big corporate model millions of animals are raised in close confines on questionable, centralized and unnatural food sources. In such circumstances, animals can be infected in a very short time, quickly creating an unstoppable landslide effect.
When your USDA or the Canadian CFIA insist all livestock and produce should be raised and produced in big, centralized conditions, it is only to cater to big corporate farming. The scientific evidence of the wisdom of this is pretty clear: it’s not a good thing.
But big corporate farming is the kind of agriculture Minister of Agriculture, Keith Colwell, envisions for Nova Scotia, and his motivation is no other than that age-old NS politician’s instinctive urge to suck up to big corporate, Nova Scotians be damned.
Since Nova Scotia’s all but useless politicians insist on sucking up to big corporate, I think it’s high time we Nova Scotians turn the table on them. It’s time to do more than just vote the last bunch of cons out only to be replaced by a new bunch of cons. It’s time we form a small farm federation, a legislating body for small farms, to ensure open entry of new small farmers, free competition, minimal government interference and impedance, protection from Nova Scotia’s numerous big corporate bullies, and protection of our traditional way of life. I am thinking the many thousands of small farms in Nova Scotia, united, would form a far larger and more powerful voting and policy-making body than any bullying special big corporate interest.