Sunday, June 3, 2012

Coming Together as Partners in Farming

The work of farmers has grown while the number of farmers has dwindled. Whether you believe that big business ran farmers into the ground, or that poor market values in the 80’s are to blame, or perhaps it was government subsidies that did them in it really doesn’t change the outcome. Furthermore, many people in America just don’t want to farm so pointing fingers does little good. The point is that only 2% of the people in this country provide food for our great nation and other countries around the world. While America imports practically every product you buy from the store there is one product that we still export…food and associated byproducts. That means that there is still something that is MADE IN AMERICA. I don’t know about you but I think that is pretty impressive and it is pretty darned impossible without the use of modern technology, which includes tractors, confinement barns, and modern medicine.

There is a war going on right now and it breaks my heart. It is ignorant, egotistical, selfish, and shows a level of intolerance that is unacceptable and embarrassing. Whether you choose to eat meat, or eat organic, or to go vegan the wonderful thing is that you have the choice to make.
Why must we choose sides?

Since when is there only one way to farm or eat?
Why can’t we all be “right” in our own way?

We raise hogs in confinement barns and we only eat our own hogs. We buy eggs from a local farmer that raises “free range” chickens. We also buy produce from a fellow that drives around selling Amish grown products out of the back of his pickup and we eat out of our own garden too. I also buy food from big chain grocery stores like Wal-Mart and Aldi. This is what is so wonderful about this country—DIVERSITY!
I don’t have to eat organic but I am friends with the fellow that sells the eggs and I like buying eggs from him, so I do. I don’t have to grow my own food but I enjoy the satisfaction and process of gardening. I don’t have to eat meat just like I don’t have to eat all my veggies but I do because I have a choice and so do all of you.

So, here is a choice that must all make:
Are we going to continue to argue amongst ourselves or are we going to work together and become part of the solution instead of the problem?

Some farmers grow organic on a I think that is great and necessary. Some farmers contract with big companies to produce on a larger scale and I think that is great and necessary. Some go big while others remain small and I see absolutely no problem with that. Farming has yet to reach perfection; however, we will never even come close to that goal if we continue choosing sides.
Big or small, farmers are farmers and we need them all!

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