Re: formally educated farmers...
Anita Graf (email@example.com)
Fri, 5 Feb 1999 16:31:22 EST5EDT
> >So far, it would
> >seem that organic farms are being run by all manner of liberal
> >arts-types and I can only suppose that the graduates of ag school are
> >farming conventionally.
> Hi Anita,
> I think your supposition is rather limiting. Most of the conventional farmers
> in my area are of the quit-high-school or barely-finished-high-school types.
> They can't really tell you why they are farming the way they do, except to say
> that that's how Dad used to do it. In fact, many still farm with their dads.
> My husband is one of the latter. We're working on building a natural,
> responsible farm but it's very difficult for him to not plow every year, or
> not to use pour-on whenver the box says you should.
> I'm a college-educated city slicker, and it's much easier for me to adopt the
> newer (well, actually older) methods of agriculture. For one, I don't have the
> inbred training in the old way and, for two, I don't have this "going against
> Dad's wishes" guilt trip to deal with.
> Marjon Schaefer
> Moon Hill Highland Farm
> Central Iowa
Oh, yes, by far the majority of conventional farmers farm that way
because of family tradition/informal education. (Surveys also show
that conventional farmers are more likely to have grown up on a farm
or ranch than organic farmers.) And there's no doubt about what a
powerful force this is. To clarify what I meant to say: those
farmers who are formally educated in ag sciences are presumably
going into conventional farm operations.
313-F Conner Hall
Dept. of Agricultural and Applied Economics
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602-7509
(706) 542-1915 phone
(706) 542-0739 fax
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