Perhaps not surprisingly, I ended up in a discussion on FB about dairy production the other day… In the end though, it provided inspiration for words that I’ve not been able to find previously:
Having been involved with dairy, beef and crops throughout my life, what I most wish for the public to understand is 99% of farmers are not out to “make a buck” off compromising the health or safety of your food.
The responsibility of feeding the world’s population has fallen on the few within just three generations. Less than 100 years ago, most people produced their own food, and now less than 2% of the North American population feeds the rest.
What has not changed in this time is how much farmers love caring for the land and their animals. Are mistakes made? Sure. But for the most part, these people are just trying their best to do a job that isn’t a job to them – it’s a life. Truly, they have to LOVE IT THAT MUCH to go out and feed animals in our 8 months of winter temperatures and blizzards; to get up and check cows that are calving every two hours all night; to put the needs of their stock far ahead of their own, missing Christmas concerts, and buying feed when they can’t afford groceries (which happened regularly after BSE and drought wiped out the cattle market). Nobody is getting rich doing this. When you look at Forbes’ list of the wealthy, there aren’t any farmers on it.
Farmers are farmers because it’s in their hearts.
I wish that farmers were in the hearts of consumers in the same way. That every time we (me included) are fortunate to have something to eat thanks to another’s great efforts, we would say a small “thanks.” That when we as consumers hear someone attacking the people who make sure our bellies are full and there are clothes on our backs, we should stand up for the people who make that possible. Not condemn them, not question the practices we know nothing of. For we are fortunate to have that luxury when billions around the world do not.
[ courtesy of farmon.com ]