You're not a farmer!
Apr 06, 2011
Organic, natural, small farmer, farmers market person, big agriculture, commodity guy, large acre farmer and backyard businessman. These are all labels that we put on those within agriculture. For some on both sides of the isle, the other side isn’t considered to be part of agriculture. A large farmer maybe doesn’t consider a small organic farmer to be a vital part of production agriculture. Or maybe it’s a small natural farmer who thinks that large acre commodity guys don’t hold a vital piece of the hunger puzzle. Either way, members of the agriculture community are more often than not causing division and separation among our industry.
Former Secretary of Agriculture, Russell Redding, warns that such a scenario is treading dangerous waters.
"When agriculture feeds on agriculture notion good happens," Redding says. "We can take the outside feeding on us, but when it’s in the family it can be dangerous."
He says that we never want to close the circle and that it is important that we be remove labels. He advises traditional producers to be welcoming.
"They look very different than us, than tradition, but they believe themselves to be part of agriculture and we need to be inclusive," Redding says.
It’s time we stick together. We are faced with a great challenge, to feed 9 billion Americans in the coming years with less water, less land and less support. How will we do it? It’s going to take every segment of agriculture and every type of farmer to work together.
"We need to become size neutral, production practice neutral, and food positive," Redding says.
When the rubber meets the road we’re all American farmers.
What do you think? Do you think that agriculturalists will ever be able to stick together?