The next head of the Senate Agriculture Committee has a history of helping small-scale producers… and supporting sustainable practices.
EXCERPT: Stabenow has championed small producers. She supported a rural micro-entrepreneur assistance program that helps 10 or fewer employees to get small loans that provide start-up cash for organizations that provide training, marketing assistance, and other support for the businesses. In the food-safety bill… she sponsored a provision that would provide food-safety education and training for small farmers, and amendments that would exempt smaller producers from the record-keeping requirements many feared would drive them out of business. Stabenow has demonstrated concern over food deserts — areas in rural and urban landscapes that lack quality grocery stores — and many hope she’ll address food-security issues as chair.