Letter: And why sacrifice small government at its best?

One of the newer vineyards in Rappahannock County, developed with obviously a lot of hard work over a number of years, is now an operating winery.

This private enterprise in an attractive setting is up and running, doing what wineries do; making wine.

So why is the federal government involved? The short answer is big government is into everything.

Back during the summer during a visit by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, it was announced that the Narmada Winery of Amissville had won a $297,663 grant from the agriculture department. This taxpayer-funded grant can be used for “business plans, working capital for marketing, farm-based projects” and, my favorite, “feasibility studies.” Some $22.5 million of this same type of grant were awarded last year. Hardly a federal budget breaker, but nevertheless we are borrowing from China and this all becomes part of the debt we are passing on to the next generation, plus interest.

What brings this to mind at this time is knowing now that our local Virginia Extension office may be closed for cost-cutting purposes. This office of dedicated employees has served farmers, ranchers and all producers for many, many years. This office also runs the 4-H program for young people. They have been a resource on issues involving wildlife, water and land use.

The recent retirement of a long- time staff member is a further reminder of the many services that have been provided.
The closing of this office, small government at its best, would be a loss to this community.

Art Zimmerli

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