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Can't we all just get along? (How local farmers and small government contractors share a similar plight)

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Monday, January 23, 2012
The other day my wife shared an op-ed with me from one of our local papers that really hit home. It had to do with a group of local farmers taking legislative actions against another local farmer because of business practices the latter has employed, literally to stay alive. The details of the piece resonate especially for those of us who remember (or were supportive of) John Cougar Mellencamp and Farm Aid that worked to draw attention to the fast-happening demise of America's farming families.

In a nutshell, one group of farmers is trying to get zoning rules changed to prevent farmer's from leveraging the 'pick-your-own" model which has resulted in a significant level of success for farms that otherwise would have to shut down. While some of the concerns/arguments do seem sensible, why can't they try and work it out as members of the same community (literally) so everyone wins versus putting a family farm out of business?

The approach being taken by the farmers seems all too familiar. They parallel activities of many small businesses in government contracting who engage through their advocates (lobbyists) and legislators. One group offers polarizing opinions about another, or a group get's the Capitol Hill Gang involved and, well you know what happens then.

As long as small businesses in the government contracting arena keep slashing at each others respective Achilles' Heels and work against one another, there is no way we will ever get ahead. Think about it. We can't even get a common message to the agencies or the Hill about how we want them to view and acknowledge us.

All the while, non-small businesses and these so-called advocates eat our lunch.


The Chief Visionary

"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."

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