Friday, March 4, 2011

Ag Bloggers Communicate -- Perceptions About Farmers

From another farm blogger:


"One of my favorite sites, Grist.org, ran an article yesterday by farmer and writer Steph Larsen, entitled "When are we going to stop seeing farmers as rubes and hayseeds?" She brings up an excellent discussion point, and I think it's just the tip of the iceberg, because I think it goes beyond analyzing just the general public's perception of farmers--it's the attitude toward food in this country. Because the corporate-government machine has made food into a commodity, most people have adapted that mentality about it, too. In the movie Ratatouille, the main character, Remy, is told by his father, Django, "Food is fuel. You get picky about what you put in the tank, your engine is gonna die. Now shut up and eat your garbage." Frankly, I think that too many people have adopted exactly that mentality regarding their diet. Read more of the article, "Perceptions About Farmers" here.

I'm sharing this blog from someone I don't know, with a link to an article on a website I'm not sure I agree with, because some of it struck a chord with me. If you read it, come back and let me know which part(s) of the article made you think, and what you thought about it.

4 comments:

  1. Interesting article, (also enjoyed their post with the chicks pictures-the peeps drove my cat nuts!) the points are well presented-that if any business/farm is not self-substainable it can't continue to exist for long, the balance needed in pricing to achieve this goal and still be affordable to potential customers wasn't completely addressed-I think all entrepreneurs are still working on that somewhat elusive formula.

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  2. Independent artisans have to deal with issues of sustainability, too, don't they? While I've seen great strides in the general public's appreciation for all things local (whether it is handspun yarn or food), I still see altogether too many farmers who have spouses who work off the farm. Some of it is by choice. But some would like to be more involved in the farming operation, but must carry the health insurance and bring home a steady paycheck so that any farm income can be plowed back into the farm.

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  3. I enjoyed the article (I also enjoy your blog!). Like Lona I see a lot of similarities between the farmer and the artisan. I consider farming to be an art.

    I agreed with a lot of the points made in the article. That it needs to be sustainable (and that our crafts and artisan work also needs to be sustainable). I think that farmers and crafters alike both forget this sometimes. I think that having others working outside of the home and having that money coming into the farm, or into the crafting business, really cuts into being able to say it is sustainable. Sustainability is what we need.

    One point I disagree with is the idea of the locavore. I understand the point the author was trying to make. I believe, however, that this this concept can be spread more widely to an entire community-- a wide community, globally. Do not misunderstand me. I believe that this needs to be seriously altered from it's current state. The crafters and artisans in other nations need to be getting fair prices and working wages for their products, as do their farmers. In addition, governmental policies need to change in order to make this possible.

    The article touched on, but skidded over and danced around, the corruption of subsidies for certain farmers and certain crops. It makes smaller farmers, and the "non trash/garbage" appear to be more expensive. This is but only a fallacy. A similar problem exists when it comes to well made products and handmade goods. Luckily-- there are some who are wise, who see beyond it, and willing to pay for the "real" food and consumer goods. They understand that the better quality food nourishes the body, and that the better quality "things" made with time and love, nourish our soul. These are also concepts that need more attention.

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  4. I appreciated the comment in the article on the need to make money. That is one part of the sustainability discussion that seems to be intentionally overlooked by many. Seriously, folks, if you can't make enough money to "do it", then how can it even begin to be sustainable?

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