I would also like to point something out to everyone:
1. If people fear a product it will not sell, if it does
not sell it will not be produced. Let them label the milk and see what
consumers will drink, if the public thinks its safe it will sell, if not
we will solve the problem with the "FREE" market.
2. Farmers can only produce if it pays. If I can not make
a profit by using a system or product (i.e. Sust-Ag) I, as a Farmer, will
not use it. Farmers live and die by "PROFITS". When it pays to be green
farmers will be green. I am not try to say farmers are not conscious of
the environment, but feeding kids and paying bills comes first in my book.
I feel that those in government and academia forget that farmers must
profit or go out of business. When a farmer makes a mistake she puts her
business in a bind, do that too often and you might loose it all.
3. Keep in mind that these farmers are your clients and
you need to look at what you can do to help them as well.
I am a computer professional and will soon take over the family farm.
I would like to use a sustainable approach to our farm, one that not only
takes care of the land, but one that will provide for my entire family
(Three generations, soon to be four) for years to come. You can talk about
what works in the lab or at your field, but will it work on my land?????
We need to look at getting more real farmers involved in research and
developement of farming systems. If a farmer says it worked on his land and
I know how he operates, I can see how it might work for me. If a researcher
say the same thing, I wonder if they know how a farm really operates. I think
that is a common outlook, do you trust a theoretician or a practitioner.
I also see the issue of trust. Do I trust Government researchers or
do I group them with the IRS. I will trust those people that give me honest
open answers to questions. I will trust people that understand my position
and respect my needs. I have wanted to quit this list many times. I always
stop myself. I would like to see co-operation between farmers, academia,
government, and environmentalist. We need to find common ground to debate and
hopefully solve our differences. After all we all want to keep the land alive
for our own reasons.
Thank you for providing the soap box, you can have it back now.
J. Michael Hayes