Big or 'lobby' agriculture qualify for all kinds of subsidies and exemptions. They even got laws written to mandate the use of Ethanol, the gasket-dissolving non-fuel.
But if you are small, unlobbied agriculture - on the other hand - you just get hosed. Unpasteurized dairy, any kind of subsistence farming, any small plantation of cash-crops such as pistachios - the Government are your worst nightmare.
There should be a dedicated thread on this, as Freepers have a lot of experience both 1st and 2nd hand of the financial repression that crushes small agriculture in the US.
Big Agriculture in the US rakes in the subsidies. They are protected from competition from Small Agriculture because they got to write the qualifying rules. In fact they compete by qualifying for the rules and subsidies, NOT on efficient food production.
And if small Agriculture is still competitive: hell, just discover the Delta Smelt. That way you get to stop small agriculture from irrigating its own land, bankrupt it and then buy its assets for cents on the dollar. Drought, hell. The water was right there, it just had a fish in it.
We can look forward to similar rent-seeking and corruption the moment the Government are asked to intervene in other domestic markets either by subsidy or by tariff. And we don't have to look far. For instance: there's Solyndra, and half a dozen other names from America's protected Green Energy 'industry'.
Hmm, you appear to believe that the EPA are just high-minded folks looking out for a clean environment. If you hold this view sincerely then please wake up.
This theory about the EPA amounts to culpable ignorance. I am debating if I should try to assist you by pinging you to the next EPA atrocity story: if I do then please don't be offended.
And "unpasteurized milk" is not a good example. Unpasteurized milk was clearly linked to health issues back in the 1980's. Whether or not unpasteurized milk still causes health issues is up for debate, but the medical community is not convinced, and this is completely irrelevant to this discussion. We aren't importing unpasteurized milk.
The Amish seem to do just fine on subsistence farming. But that's because they are willing to live like they did 100 years ago. They aren't buying the satellite dish or the latest cell phone.
Lots of small farms around, we've got a garden out back. Probably you're seeing state or local issues not federal.