This morning, CPR Member Scholar and Vermont Law School Professor Laurie Ristino will testify at a hearing before the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade of the House Small Business Committee. The majority's not-so-subtle objective for the hearing is to apply familiar conservative talking points against federal regulations to the specific context of small farms.
In contrast to the subcommittee majority's three witnesses, all of whom represent industry trade associations that have strongly criticized environmental and other regulations in the past, Ristino's testimony offers a fuller account of the relationship between regulatory safeguards and the economic health of small and mid-sized farms. Indeed, in her testimony, Ristino effectively makes the case that a robust system of environmental, food safety, and worker protections help to provide fertile ground in which small and mid-sized farms can thrive.
We can expect the majority and its three witnesses to spend much of the hearing focused on a not-so-skeptical tallying of the "costs" side of the ledger. Fortunately, Ristino will be there to remind the subcommittee about the myriad benefits that regulations generate. Her testimony does this by making the following three points: