FCS Diversity and Inclusion - PROPOSED RULE - MARCH 2011 Dear Mr. Van Meter,
Here in our part of Middle Tennessee, farming is changing. There are now many very small farms providing food to the local area, mainly through farmers' markets and CSAs. The customers are eager to get fresh, local food. Ensuring adequate access to capital for these small farms seems important, and I am asking you to include them in the new marketing plan.
Specifically, please mark at least 10% of funds for small producers, and provide training for your staff about the needs of these producers. It would also be appropriate to appoint local and regional food producers to the FCS board. Finally, I request that you inventory the strengths and weaknesses of the local and regional food infrastructure and develop a plan for providing public and private capital to address the weaknesses.
Strengthening the local food system is important to both our security and economy. Thank you for the work you do to ensure this system.
Sincerely, Angela A. Ott Birdsong Hollow Farm 178 Birdsong Trail Woodbury, TN 37190