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Farm Report Mailbag:
I THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE HELPFUL TO ADDRESS ANOTHER ISSUE RAISED BY MY COMMENTS ABOUT ABANDONED FARMSTEADS. THIS CAME IN FROM DWIGHT SHAFFER: "I WAS HUMORED BY THE WAY JOHN TRIED TO MAKE US BELIEVE THAT THE NEIGHBORS LEAVING THE FARM WAS SOMETHING OTHER THAN "LAND HOG GREED".
THIS IS A VALID CRITICISM, AND ONE THAT TROUBLES MORE THAN A FEW OF US. MY EFFORTS TO EXPAND OUR FARM CLEARLY MEANS ANOTHER PRODUCER WILL NOT BE FARMING THOSE ACRES. NOR DO I HIDE BEHIND THE EXCUSE EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING IT. WE ARE NOT HERD ANIMALS.
FIRST, IT IS CRUCIAL TO REMEMBER THAT THE NUMBER OF FARMERS IS DETERMINED BY LANDOWNERS - NOT OPERATORS. HOWEVER GREEDY I MAY BE, I REQUIRE THEIR COOPERATION FOR ME TO EXPAND.
SECOND, ADVANCES IN PRODUCTIVITY MEAN WE CAN'T FULLY UTILIZE AS MANY FARMERS AS BEFORE. EFFORTS TO SPREAD OUT THE WORK IN OTHER INDUSTRIES HAVE NOT BEEN PARTICULARLY SUCCESSFUL, AT LEAST IN THE U-S.
THIRD, OUR REVERENCE FOR MULTI-GENERATION FAMILY FARMS NECESSARILY MEANS ENTRY FOR OUTSIDERS OR SURVIVAL OF SMALLER OPERATIONS WILL BE DIFFICULT. CHILDREN OF LARGE FARMERS WILL ENJOY TREMENDOUS COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES.
FINALLY, ONE PERSON'S GREED IS ANOTHER'S AMBITION. WHILE SOME EXCORIATE FOLKS ON WELFARE, I SEE FEW SUCH CRITICS OFFERING TO CUT BACK THEIR JOB TO MAKE ROOM FOR AN AMBITIOUS UNEMPLOYED WORKER ON THE PAYROLL. IN THE DEVELOPED WORLD THE IDEA THERE MAY NOT BE ENOUGH WORK FOR EVERYONE IS SLOWLY GAINING A HEARING. HOW WE ALLOCATE EMPLOYMENT COULD BE THE TEST OF OUR ECONOMY IN THE FUTURE.
Our local elevator has a million bushel corn pile rotting. What will/can they do with this corn? It's black and gummy. When the wind is out of the south I can smell it at my house, 4 miles away. There doesn't seem to be any dialog about it. I would presume it's garbage? But apparently it is being trucked out so will it end up being blended into animal feed? I'm afraid to buy dog food if that's the case. What about horse feed and chicken feed? It can't possibly be safe no matter how little is blended. What are they doing with it?