Thursday, June 6, 2013

Skilled Farmers

During the industrial revolution the art and craft of real farming got caught up in the excitement, politics, and eventual turmoil caused by mechanization being instated where sound judgment should have been more prevalent.  It was like using your garage door opener to open your garage, start your car, undress from your pajamas, put on your work day’s clothes, drive one hundred feet to the edge of your drive way, check the mail, and then pull back into the garage and reverse everything you just did.  When you simply could have thrown on a bath robe and walk out to the mail box and pick up your junk mail and save all that other nonsense.  That scenario is akin to our current agribusiness model.   

This Washington driven demand to push most farmers off their land and into the cities was escalated by our own Department of Agriculture.  Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz, during the Nixon administration goes down in history as not only a racist, but also known for his famous speech stating to a group of farmers, “get big or get out”.   We took a population of people where over 45% of our population were farming as a carear to a now population of less than 2% are farmers.  In that earlier time such diseases as cancer, diabetes, Ms and many, many other autoimmune diseases were almost unheard of.  Now the reports tell us two out of three males will get cancer and one out of three females.  There are so many serious life threatening diseases around today many have the chance of securing more than one.  Following that was the beginning of our current monumental subsidy programs funded by the tax dollar to cover the farm lands of this country with corn and soy beans to feed the masses.  Big problem with this, nutritionally, grains are a starvation diet.  And the economical and social outcomes of this debacle is now showing up in about every area of American disaster today.  This problematic policy is at the root cause of such environmental ecological issues as flooding, drought, soil erosion, poor drinking water quality, loss of delicate soil fertility and organic matter, as well as social problems all the way from unemployment, sinking rural economic viability, increases in city slums, disastrous medical and health quality including the associated high costs of such, and more.  The real straw that is breaking the camel’s back is common knowledge that these politics have been attempted many times before in history and has always ended in entire ruination.

Fast forward about seventy years and America has more problems, more debt, and less options than any time in history.  Many folks are beginning to recognize that we at least have a significant problem in the quality of our food and have related this issue to at the bare minimum to the quality of our health and the possible cause of many of our recent increases in serious diseases that plaque our population by no small number.  So for some the answer is to improve the quality of our food production and distribution system so that we can have a higher nutrient level and less amount of dangerous chemicals and artificial food additives.  But because we have employed such high levels of sophistication and technology in the agribusiness world, we have all but lost the absolute requirement needed for quality farming and food production.  And this requirement is the art and craft of good farming.  This highly trained skill was stomped all over during the industrial revolution and given little to no credibility and has just about been wiped out in most of America.  We do not have an institution or organized educational training system designed to produce graduates or train farmers how to produce good food.  All of those institutions that once provided these services have been attached directly to the teats of our political and economic system that initiated the mechanical grain production disaster.  We have spent all this time training and educating in a direction that has succeeded in getting our poor nutrition and sickened human health to the low level it has advanced to today.   These very highly indoctrinated wage earners are one of the biggest hurdles to cross to turn around not only our good health through good nutrition but also the social and economic evils that infiltrate our country today.  There is a tremendous lack of knowledge concerning the depth of skill and craft required to produce good nutritious food at the farm level.  This cannot be done in a manufacturing plant.  It cannot be accomplished only through upper level management staff or highly paid employees.  And the fixes or cures for poor nutrition cannot be repaired in a hospital or doctor’s office.  Jefferson and Washington and many others before them spelled it out in very easy to read words which we mostly ignored.  As humans we are dependant upon the good earth’s bounty and the ones who produce those goods.  We must now take the time to train good farmers to become once again skilled and the craft of good farming recreated less we all succumb to the same fate that those before us have when they ignored this warning.      

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