Tea Party Libertarians and Small Organic Farmers Make Strange Political Bedfellows

As tension grows between small farms and government regulators, progressive environmentalists find themselves in agreement with anti-government libertarians.

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"For example, the big E. coli outbreak that happened in 2006 was really the catalyst to get the Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement put into place," she explains. "Because the cost of these regulations are so onerous, there are exceptions that are made for producers below a certain size." The whole purpose of the agreement, after all, was to deal with greens that flow through a large food chain—from the fields in California to the packing and cooling sheds to the grocery store; the more marketing channels there are, the greater risk of a food safety problem. If you're a small grower, that chain merely extends from the farm to a local farmer's market, thereby limiting the risk.

But lest one be lured into a false sense of amicability between farmer and government, the self inspections weren't the only changes the Bledsoes hoped for when lobbying Nevada representatives.

"The first thing I wanted to include was the option to purchase raw milk," Laura says. "We were told right off the bat don't even go there."

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