Let me see if I can address your points in order. Hopefully there is
some common ground in there.
> Three ways to go about this.
> First, as a "civilian", I need to better
> understand the ways in which weeds and deer and other pests affect
> your ability as a farmer to stay on the land farming. I need you to
> communicate more effectively with me. I (the public) need you (the farmer)
> to do a better job of communicating the economic value system under
> which you operate.
I'm having a hard time truly ingesting that the public doesn't understand
that weeds and wild animals take resources away from my ability to make a
living. Sorry. I don't think it's fair to ask me to explain something
that no business person would think of having to explain. If I start
explaining this, I'm ceding your right to interfer in how I manage it,
and that is bothersome to me. I'm not trying to be smart, just sharing
how I approach the issue.
> Secondly, you can try a little harder to learn what elements of rural
> life are valuable to me. I value clean water, I don't want pesticide
> residues on my food, I value a diverse landscape over a monocrop
> of corn, I value a diversity of people in a rural community. You
> (the farmer) need us (the public) to do a better job of communicating
> the non-economic values we hold.
You needn't eat pesticide residue on your food - organic is gaining in
popularity, and as you support it, you'll make it profitiable for me to
grow it without forcing me to do it through laws.
I don't know how you address monoculture in cities - zoning laws I guess,
where you tolerate homes and businesses of certain physical sizes and
amount of pollutant. It is difficult for me to know how to anticipate
what particular cropping pattern you'd like me to do, and when there is
no economic incentive attached, I'd get the idea you want me to make you
happy and pay for it, too.
> Third, you and I (farmer and non-farmer) need to create and campaign
> for those farming policies that allow both of us to achieve the
> goals of the value systems we hold.
I'm already doing that. It's called economics. It means I bring in more
money than I spend. If I don't do that, I'm not on the land for you to
relate to in any way.
> That's not what I said. The public is becoming increasingly sensitive
> to environmental degredation. Agriculture is not the only agent
> degrading the environment, but it is prominently in the news.
> Oil spills, EPA Superfund sites, Non-point source pollution, depleted
> fisheries, clearcut forests, acid rain, etc., etc., etc.
> ..... and now Alar on Apples from Washington State, and bst-labled milk.
Bob, the Alar scare was a total hype job with no credibility now. All it
does is prove to farmers that the truth is not going to be used in our
favor in determining public opinion and concommittent policy.
> > I agree with this if you mean that you will take the point of view of the
> > farmer and show him how his situation will be better by changing his
> > practices.
> That is what I prefer. I hope that is why you and I (farmer and nonfarmer)
> are participating on this listserver discussion group.
It's money, Bob. I have to make a living. It has to be economic
incentive and voluntary. Otherwise, it'll take a policeman on every