Letter: Small farmers deserve attention too

Re: Monday, Jan. 14 editorial, “Farm year good in ’12”

I’m always delighted to read good news about Louisiana but wish, when you editorialized on the good year in state agriculture, you would have broadened your definition of farmers beyond the agribusiness sector. Your litany of crops included corn, soybeans, rice, cotton, grain sorghum and sugar cane — all important to the state economy.

But the growing number of small, independent family farms that grow foodstuffs is also important. These are most visible to the public at farmers’ markets and their population is increasing throughout the state. I suppose that these farmers were not included among the positive data about farming because their crops are not exported.

Since the editorial stated that “agriculture is an important part of the state’s economy,” however, perhaps in the future you would also note the status of Louisiana’s small farmers.

Just as small businesses exist and are important within our economy despite the corporate behemoths like Exxon and Dow, so too are small farms and their services worthy of notice, though tucked among the vast acreage dedicated to soybeans, sugarcane etc.

Mary Ann Sternberg, board member

BREADA (Red Stick Farmers Markets and Main Street Market)

Baton Rouge