A New Batch of Letters
Jan 13, 2010
Editor's Note: The feedback below was received following the January 9-10, 2010 edition of U.S. Farm Report...
I don't know one case where the people who previously owned a now-empty farmstead felt "freed-up" to leave their home. The many cases of men who committed suicide when they were forced off the farmstead do not suggest
that they felt "freed-up."
Most farm wives who work in town (as well as at home) to keep the dairy operation going, don't feel "freed-up" when finally they have to sell the place. Closed country schools and churches don't appear any more "freed-up" than the empty farmsteads do.
Perhaps today's children who have become accustomed to cell phones and driving themselves to school in town
do feel "freed-up" when they go off to college enroute to eventual urban lives -- until the nostalgia hits them in their 40's (too late).
If you ever thought family farms were good for America, then the dead farmsteads and the clear trend they describe
should grieve your heart.
I listened to your commentary on 1/9/10 on KCRG [Cedar Rapids, IA]. Yes, there aren't near as many farmers as we once had due to mind boggling increases in productivity. I'd have you consider the question "Once the people have left the farm, where do they go and what do they do?" Of course they go to the city but the question "What do they do?" still remains.
Many sources note that China must create tens of millions of manufacturing jobs each year for the folks leaving Chinese agricultural land. Here in the US, there aren't many folks left on the farm period. Since our manufacturing economy has turned into a service economy, a job is hard to find and a living wage is like finding a diamond on a gravel road.
I'd have you consider that US agriculture is a subset of a nation.....and that a subset of the world community. As the world forces more and more people into the cities from the countryside, the larger question of "What will they do?" continues to grow......and rest assured it will affect US agriculture.
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". We witnessed this in our area last fall. A young family dairy operation was forced to pay a high price for land, which the dairy was located on and they had been farming for a few years as renters. The land was auctioned off and a large farmer bid them up to a very high price. Don't tell me that this isn't the case in more places. John did make an effort to make the large operators feel right in what they have been doing, and will continue to do, by saying the previous tenants or owners went off to pursue their bigger dreams. In most cases a neighbor offered more rent or offered to buy the place forcing the party to have to go to pursue something else. Tell me how much is enough. Look in the want adds and usually one can find a young fellow wanting a farm to get started on.
Dear Mr Phipps,
I believe the shrinking number of people in our rural / agricultural work over the past 100 or so years has indeed "freed-up" people for other endevours.
They have gone on to give us numerous financial crises / wars / recessions / ever increasing taxes / iron grip on our schools and newspapers / 2500 page laws / never ending regulations to the point of near dictatorship in the US.
I say: THEY SHOULD GET BACK TO THE FARM !!!
My name is Bill and I am an "ol farm boy" from the "Great San Joaquin Valley". My interest is in what is being done about nutrition and farming. Our country's health is dependent on it. Insurance companies, HMOs, doctors etc are all profiting from the ill health of our country. "The future of medicine is nutrition". The problem is that our food doesn't have the nutritional value it use to have because farmers are paid for "tons and bushels" not nutrition. This is directly related to our country's poor health as we are rated 47th in the world in longevity and very bad in first year survivability of children. This is the state/statistic of nutrition in our country. One can read the Senate document of 1936 stating that the trace minerals that relate to body health that were in our soils are no longer there.
Just as the "ground floor" movement started with "organic" farming "nutritional" farming needs to move forward and create a new movement that pays the farmer for nutritional food/commodities. The rancher/dairyman animal raiser checks the TDN of his commodities in order to raise/grow healthy animals and make a profit.. It is everyone's responsibility to make sure our food is nutritional and not anemic. If people knew the difference in the nutritional value of our food 40 or 100 years ago compared to now there would be a wake up call. Farmers would be paid more for getting all the minerals back into the ground so the crops could absorb them and have healthier, tastyer and longer shelf life foods.
Pull up your USDA composition of foods reference and check the nutrient value of the staples/vegetables in the 1950/60s and then look at the values today. Calcium is depleted 75% in some commodities. This is horrendous, Also realize that calcium, magnesium are the bulk minerals when in deficiency are related to so many dieses.
If you need anymore references to health and nutrition feel free to contact me, I would like to be part of this movement. References to consider; Dr Joel Wallachs lectures on soils and nutrition, and the history of nutrition relating to the Egyptians and other races. 90 essentials including 60 minerals Senate Doc 236 in 1936 stating the condition of our soils USDA composition of foods 1940 and 2008. University studies backup all this information and should be made public.
Thank God for American Farmers!!