Sunday, July 10, 2011

Good for the Goose ?

One of the recurring themes in this that I can't ever seem to get shut of for very speaking up when I see people in the ag industry....including farmers....doing things that either a) aren't good for the world generally or b) aren't good for the industry itself, or c) aren't good for the farmers they purportedly support. As a full time farmer I find the last one particularly galling, and "pro-ag" support groups are often the worst offenders about remembering that feet and mouths aren't meant to go together. I recently cancelled my membership in a "pro" farmer group when it's messages began by thanking American farmers for providing American consumers the cheapest food in the world. I guess that's nice, but I win out of supporting this sort of nonsense how, exactly ?

To be fair, we farmers are often our own worst enemies. I know of no other business that routinely spends so much time, effort and money enhancing production without bothering to see whether or not the market will actually buy the extra at a price that is profitable first. Incredibly, when somebody has the audacity to actually sell a product that the market will buy, often at a premium, this gets labelled as a threat. And if you don't believe me, read what the general farm press has to say about organics, or about grass fed meat or BST free milk just to cite a few examples. I've yet to figure out what is threatening about any of this, but believe me when I say there are a lot of folks who sure seem to think it is.

Unlike many farmers, I don't choose to vilify any of the many large multinationals that exist within agriculture. We are their consumers and they exist by producing what we want and will buy and they couldn't exist if we didn't. When somebody comes along with a better idea that makes what they do redundant, they will either adapt their business model to new realities or they will die. It's up to them to worry about their businesses just as it's up to me to worry about mine.

And with that, it's time to go check on some horses !

1 comment:

Bif said...

Excellent points...
If I wanted to hit a trigger point, I could just type Monsanto.

That usually gets me fired up for hours.