Laura, when you wrote about farmers that, "They've simply budgeted their
limited time to
those things that are most important to them.", you pretty well pointed in
the right direction. Being part of the same milieu as their urban
customers they have been convinced that they are first business people,
agricultural business people, and that as such their first priority is
maximum profits. To achieve that they become monoculturalists and throw
out many of the other activities which at one time created a rural
lifestyle. Instead they run an industrial operation, with inputs that
include foreign energy, machinery, fertilizers, chemical "crop protectors"
and seed from sources as unknown to them as are the sources of food in
general to urban consumers.
People preach about saving the "family farm". The fact is there are damn
few "family farms" to save. There are pig farms, dairy farms, grain farms,
market garden farms, potato farms, even the chicken and egg producers are
separate. All this because the economists tell us you have to splecialize
and then get big or get out.
Vancouver Island, Canada
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