One week ago I had the opportunity to spend some time at Marshy Meadows Farm in Ashtabula County. Proprietor Mardy Townsend runs a 130-head grass-fed beef program there. Over the past 20 years she and her mother Marge have turned Marshy Meadows from corn and barley production to grassland for the beef herd. Along the way the Environmental Quality Incentives Program from the USDA has helped Mardy lessen the farm’s ecological impact while building a profitable livestock business. This interview deals with the potential danger of Congressional budget cutting taking out programs like EQIP that provide sources of capital for family and beginning farmers to build their businesses responsibly.
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