There is a heavy component of myth in all the arguments in favor of
maintainins some elusive status quo like the family farm. When I grew
up, many more people around here farmed. Some managed better than
others. Some quit, sold out, were forced out, found better jobs in town,
and nobody said too much about it. I don't know what era we have to go
to to find the the "family farm" that we should enshrine, but it hasn't
been an era I've lived through, and I remember when we put in electricity
and Dad still used horses.
Farmers were quick to quit milking their own cows, raising their own eggs
and chickens, and growing their own gardens. Those who do those things
now sometimes do them for the money saved, but more often I'd guess they
do it for the quality they believe or perceive they get.
There has to be some economic viability at some level for us to farm.
The rest of the world doesn't owe us a living any more than we
necessarily owe it food.
Jim - Farmer - Iowa City, IA,