There are a series of campaigns aimed at securing larger government support for smaller farms. Smaller operators believe US agriculture policies do not favor small, independent farmers.
"I think funding is one of the biggest struggles I have encountered," said [Alex] Bryan. "To get funding to play in the game, to purchase equipment or to build infrastructure that follows guidelines that may be more appropriate for a large-scale producer, may be prohibitive to the small producer. We're following a lot of the same regulations."
Rules through the Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) are seen as a way to help smaller farms be on a level playing field with larger operations.
The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance's Survey of Farmers, Ranchers, and Consumers suggests that 93% of farmers and ranchers believe consumer's perception of US modern farming practices are somewhat or not accurate at all. The survey also notes that consumers are firmly divided on the direction of modern agriculture. These and other survey observations were discussed in the Food Dialogues Town Hall, segments of which can be watched on-line.
The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance released a consumer, farmer, and rancher survey that says 42% of consumers believe US is heading in wrong direction. Additionally, it states 93% of farmers believe consumer perception of modern farming is somewhat or not accurate. This sets up a disconnect in the US on food production practices and consumer preferences.
Consumers think about food production constantly, yet know very little about how food is brought to the dinner table. Consumers are firmly divided on the direction of modern agriculture.