The good news: The population increase is slowing down.
The bad news: The population is still growing.
The good news: Due to new technology, a better understanding of the environment, and bio sciences farmers are able to feed the 6 going on 7 billion people in the world on a relatively small amount of land.
The bad news: That amount of land is going to get smaller. The land to population ratio is declining by 40% to 55%.
Do not fret my foodie friends. Despair not my dietetic damsels. For farmers shall prevail!
One of the reasons I do this agvocating thing and the main reason each and every farmer and rancher I know does this is to get the word out about how vitally important agriculture is not only to our country, community, economy, but also to our everyday lives...our survival. People don't stop to think about survival because we are a nation of plenty...plenty too much if you ask me. We have become spoiled and wasteful with our abundance of food. Furthermore, too many people have got WAY too much time on their hands and want to play activist just for something meddlesome to do...You meddling kids!!! (name that cartoon)
The issue is this: Activists, lobbyists, radicals, and every other group that ends with -ists want to tell farmers how to farm, what to raise, who to sell it to, how much to sell it for, when and how to plant it/grow it/breed it/raise it, and each group is demanding something different. But what about the agrilists or the farmists or the ranchists? Don't we get a say in how we raise our food?
Not that agriculture isn't a team effort, it definitely is and everyone should have a say in what they eat but over-legislation, propaganda, and special interest agendas have the potential to push agriculture to the point of extinction. That may sound drastic but look at Florida, California, Ohio, Colorado, even here in Missouri activists and special interest groups have passed laws that inhibit or hold a strong potential to inhibit agriculture.
The world has to eat and only 98% of Americans are providing food for this country and exporting to several others as well. Who will feed the masses as they continue to multiply? Will you? Will your neighbor? What about the guy in the high-rise apartment, will he raise his own meat and vegetables 12 floors up? The world needs farmers and ranchers but too many don't see it that way. SPEAK UP! BE HEARD! As farmers and ranchers or general friends of ag you need to tell your story and help SPREAD THE WORD OF AG!!!
The world keeps growing while farm land keeps shrinking and new technology--including CAFOs--should be embraced as a new means of food production. Is it perfect? No. Is it the end all, be all of modern pork production? No. But it is what we have now and it is what we can improve on for the future. Farming is a process that constantly changes and evolves. We need to work together to make sure consumers, city folks, rural folks, and the general public know that we are evolving to better serve them. Be part of the solutions...not the problem.