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Ever notice that the mindset in the AG world is BIG=BETTER
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Mike frustrated in Va.    Posted 04-02-2002 at 08:43:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
Just seems to me that all the help thats available to the Ag industry from the govt. is aimed to support the top producers. I'm fed up with reading how the Politicians are concerned about the survival of the 'family farm' and then put $$$ in the pockets of AGBIZ outfits.

Now I don't want a handout from Uncle Sam, or anybody else. A level playing field would be nice.
You want to see chaos? Then watch what happens if we have a depression. The underpinned economy of big corp. farming will hit the skids. Then who is going to supply the local markets? The local family farms that have been able to scratch and strain to stay alive. The more these small outfits die off the worse shape we're in as a country. Talk about national security? If we lose our small producers we've lost the war.

I hadn't planned on a rant so I'll shut up. Just tired of reading the new farm bill hype knowing it is all about manure spreading by politicians.

Those of you out there holding on to farming as a way of life are the marrow. "The farmer feeds us all." Hold on brothers & sisters. We'll be needing you.

Larry    Posted 04-02-2002 at 14:37:25       [Reply]  [Send Email]

This is one subject I feel very strongly about. I'm also very frustrated about the whole thing. So much so that I started several post and ended up just giving up on them. It makes me so angry that I don't know where to start. So I don't.

magpie    Posted 04-02-2002 at 12:47:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yes I agree that is the mindset. I really believe that in time it will all self destruct. Then mabey, just mabey the small farmer can start to be significant again. What we really need is for the small organic operators, to hang in there and pass on their knowledge and skills. The days of the chemically dependent, fossil fuel guzzling, bottom line oriented, big operator are numbered.

hay    Posted 04-02-2002 at 16:05:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
magpie, i gotta disagree with you about the big agri-biz self destructing. that is exactly what the government wants: BIG agri-business and they will do everything and anything they can to make it work including spending the taxpayers last dollar for it. i and many others wish the "little" guy could stay in and make a go of farming, but it's over. the gov't wants control and it is too hard to control so many little producers, so they just weed them out and keep the big ones that will play their game. with so many rules and regulations to follow it is a wonder that there are any small producers left anyway.

Laurie    Posted 04-02-2002 at 13:18:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
My friends that have 100 acres of apples, 40 acres of cherries and 7 acres of pears, pack their own fruit and have their own CA, tried to go organic a few years back. Because the orchards around them are not organic, the bigger farmers threw a fit, filed a patition and caused so much trouble that they gave up and sprayed. The cherry market went in the toilet and now they both have day jobs - still own the orchards and warehouse and the market is still the pits.

magpie    Posted 04-02-2002 at 18:30:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
I think perhaps I made too bold a statement. All I grow is a garden and a few acres of hay so what do I know. Now having said that, let me say this. I have a good friend that farms strictly with horses, grows cattle, hay and some grain. He never buys store bought fertilizer, never sprays, only doctors an animal with drugs if it is a life or death matter. His standard of living by todays standards is very low. He dosen't even have a phone. But yet he seems to be making it, he is happy his family is happy. His children, pre teens already know things about animals and farming that I well never hope to learn. Now I know of another fellow who is experimenting with organic grain farming, tries something different every year sometimes sucessful sometimes not. These two fellows are the reason I think their is a future in small family farms. Mabey not in my lifetime but for future generations.

Dan G/Soganofla    Posted 04-02-2002 at 20:45:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
Magpie, you said it. The pendulum keeps on swinging, no matter what the gubmint says, or does, or doesn't do. We have a whole new crop of family farms springing up, due to all of us who have grown up in the city, or burbs, but have returned to the country to "rediscover our roots." There are thousands of families that have purchased their little chip..10 or 20 acres...of the older, overgrown "family farms." Just look at the history of the last 50 years, or so. Folks, back in the forties and fifties, could make a go with "conventional" farming methods on 100 acres. Before that, it took only 40 acres. As things got more industrialized, it took more and more land. Now, the only ones who can afford enough land to make it conventionally are the corporations...hence, "corporate farming." Today's "homesteaders" are returning to the old concept of sustainable farming by meeting many of their own needs from their own land, while working off the farm for their cash needs. That's not that different from my Great-Great Grandaddy, who farmed a little place that straddled the Ga-Fla line(yep, folks! That was the heart of Soganofla). He also made barrels for the cane syrup producers to generate the cash needed for things he couldn't produce himself.
Y'all just look around at the folks we have right here on Kountry Life. F14, a soft old retired swabbie is raising sheep, and LazyHorse has some Llamas(do they really taste like chicken, LH?) I have goats, and sell a bit of hay and pecans, and may sell a bit of produce, when I have extra. In fact, most of the folks here are producing just like small farmers did a hundred years ago, without even realizing that they are perpetuating a tradition that has existed longer than the U.S. All of you folks that have just moved to the country, and have so much to learn, will be infecting your own children and grandchildren with the wonderment of it all, and spawning more generations of "back-to-the-landers", who will repeat the process, over and over.

Naw, it ain't over. It's just now coming to be our turn at bat, again. Enjoy!

Sammie    Posted 04-03-2002 at 09:14:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
What really breaks my heart is seeing the "developement" of what is now orchards and livestock ranches into housing projects and shopping malls. Like I said in another post, I think I didn't move far enough out cuz the big city I just moved from is chasing me!!! Along with the crime rate and tax increases, increased traffic and everything that goes with it. We had a thread on here not long ago about trash along the road. I hadn't had a BIG problem with it and just picked it up but the day after I had said that, someone threw a huge black trash back of beer cans, cigarette butts, used condoms and just general trash beside the road by my mailbox and the force of it hitting the ground broke the bag everywhere!! What the fall didn't spread, the wind did. Really made me mad but I looked up as I started picking it up - fully gloved - and the neightbor kids were coming out of their house each with a sack. I made them go back and get gloves and they helped me pick it up - really neat. That is one of the things I love about this place but it's going to change very soon and this kind of stuff will happen more and more. I love my home and am beginning to hate the city and how greedy it is to ruin farms so they can get more tax dollars.

Donna    Posted 04-02-2002 at 10:10:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
Very well said.

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