While I agree with the Editorial Board’s view that small family farms are not getting appropriate consideration and are finding it difficult to do business (Our View, Oct. 4), I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the duplicity of some of the points that were made, such as “… as Maine farmers know, smaller farming operations are generally good stewards of the land just as a matter of course.” This confidence and understanding are rarely extended to fishermen, even Maine fishermen.

In the editorial, Jim Goodman, board president of the National Family Farm Coalition, is quoted: “Five years of plunging farm prices, increasing bankruptcies and climbing suicide rates were not discussed by (Agriculture Secretary Sonny) Perdue.” Mental health and suicide rates of fishermen are never discussed or considered when talking about the impacts of policy, prices or major gear reductions on fishermen. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention category under which you can learn more about suicide rates for farmers and fishermen is “Farming, Fishing, and Forestry.”

And while it’s shameful that 75 percent of the $322 billion in farm subsidies have only gone to about 10 percent of the farms, of which most are soy, corn and wheat farms, there have been about $6 billion in subsidies to the fishing industry in the past 10 years. Or, less than 2 percent of $322 billion.

If we don’t want to see fishing families go out, either, then we need to reconsider how we talk about and support fishermen and their businesses. After all, just like local farmers, they are Mainers, food producers and human beings.

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