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The Family Farm Is Being Systematically Wiped Out Of Existence In America

An entire way of life is rapidly dying right in front of our eyes. The family farm is being systematically wiped out of existence in America, and big agribusiness and the federal government both have blood all over their hands. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of farms in the United States has fallen from about 6.8 million in 1935 to only about 2 million today. That doesn't mean that there is less farming going on. U.S. farms are producing more than ever. But what it does mean is that farming is increasingly becoming dominated by the big boys. The rules of the game have been tilted in favor of big agribusiness so dramatically that most small farmers find that they simply cannot compete anymore. Back in 1900, about 39 percent of the U.S. population worked on farms. At this point, only about 2 percent of all Americans now live on farms. Big agribusiness, the food processing conglomerates, and big seed companies such as Monsanto completely dominate the industry. Unless something dramatic is done, the family farm is going to continue to be wiped out of existence. Unfortunately, it does not look like things are going to turn around any time soon.

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Sorry, but I don't support a "right to food" either.

What I do support and hold to be vitally important is the right to grow food and sell it. When all are totally dependent on a food delivery infrastructure we are extremely vulnerable to catastrophic shortage and starvation.

New Hampshire and Ecuador.

Sorry to sound unsympathetic but small family farms, while

romantic, are a thing of the past.

I am from Green Bay Wisconsin. Where I grew up most of my friends came from small family farms. And those people were some of the most hard working and admirable people I have ever met. I have the greatest respect for them.

But the only way a small family farm can make it against efficiencies of scale is with government subsidies today. And most of us here are against such government programs.

Family farms that produce unpastuerized milk (when legal) organic produce or heritage produce, that addresses a niche not seen by big corporate farms will always have a place.

But to preserve a way of life, merely to preserve a way of life, with government programs, is wrong.

sharkhearted's picture

Do you work for Monsanto? Cargill? Tyson??

Or are you just one of the uninformed public on the subject?

Here are some documentaries you should digest before you so quickly jump to an ill-informed conclusion on the subject.

And as a precursor, just like the Military Industrial Complex, and the Financial Complex, and the Prison Industrial Complex, the Agribusiness Complex is another corporatist (fascist) concentration of both big government and big business, make no mistake about it.

But here are some good documentaries that carefully document these consolidations of power...and the accompanying loss of quality...in not only our food supply, but in the biosphere as well.

And of course it is not just happening in America...one of these below accounts for the EU's version of the same and you will find it stunning and eye-opening.

The Future of Food http://www.thefutureoffood.com/

Food Inc. http://www.takepart.com/foodinc/film

The World According to Monsanto http://freedocumentaries.org/int.php?filmID=300

We Feed the World http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/we-feed-the-world/

Ingredients http://www.ingredientsfilm.com/

Farmageddon http://farmageddonmovie.com/

Once you have taken all of these in, and gained a better understanding on how these agribusiness giants are baring their teeth at the small time farmer, and many times taking them to court and suing them for everything they have, or using the FDA's jackbooted thugs to raid their raw milk co-op, or whatever....then once you have taken this all in, get back with me afterword and tell me if your opinion has not changed...

Thanks!

~Chris
Norfolk, VA

~Chris
Norfolk, VA

Time to INVESTIGATE the investigators of 9/11. PROSECUTE the prosecutors. EXPOSE the cover-up.

Thank you for the links!

I believe there are a couple you have listed that I haven't seen. I will definitely check them out....thanks again!

sharkhearted's picture

Absolutely, bro. Thank you. Let me know what you think.

Let me know what you think after viewing them...

~Chris
Norfolk, VA

~Chris
Norfolk, VA

Time to INVESTIGATE the investigators of 9/11. PROSECUTE the prosecutors. EXPOSE the cover-up.

2nd on that thanks.

Thanks Chris.

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Its all economics

Can you produce a competitive product that the consumer will buy and that you can make a profit at?

Yes? Then great! Have at it! The family farm lives!

No? You want me to pay my tax dollars to subsidise you because you can't make it on your own? Then FORGET IT!

sharkhearted's picture

So what's your point??

Not sure what you are trying (very feebly) to say here...

Chris
Norfolk, VA

~Chris
Norfolk, VA

Time to INVESTIGATE the investigators of 9/11. PROSECUTE the prosecutors. EXPOSE the cover-up.

Did I use too many words? Can't you find your dictionary?

What part of this don't you understand?

sharkhearted's picture

After you digest all of these...then get back with me...

The Future of Food http://www.thefutureoffood.com/

Food Inc. http://www.takepart.com/foodinc/film

The World According to Monsanto http://freedocumentaries.org/int.php?filmID=300

We Feed the World http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/we-feed-the-world/

Ingredients http://www.ingredientsfilm.com/

Farmageddon http://farmageddonmovie.com/

~Chris
Norfolk, VA

~Chris
Norfolk, VA

Time to INVESTIGATE the investigators of 9/11. PROSECUTE the prosecutors. EXPOSE the cover-up.

It's all regulations

Yeah, I don't think the concept of this post has quite sunk in with you yet. It's not about subsidies at all...it's about the extreme regulations on the small farmer. It's about the stronghold of the USDA. It's about Monsanto's global agricultural takeover. Not subsidies. OK? No one is asking for your money...it's going to Big Ag anyway.

EVERY DAIRY FARMER get a milk check from the government

Don't kid yourself about subsidies.

The subsidies are there, that is for sure....

but who do you think benefits the most, the small family farm or Big Ag?

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
Friedrich Nietzsche

END the subsidies and lets have a level playing field.

Nobody should be benefiting from subsidies.

We need food. We will buy food. Food will never go out of style.

Commodity food will be purchased at the lowest price. Efficient producers will win.

Speciality and premium food with fetch a premium price and perhaps smaller farmers will have the edge.

umm

do a little more research please. just because you grew up in a rural area doesn't mean you understand the bigger picture.

efficiency of scale? sure...ok, but how do you suppose those large operations got so big in the first place?

additionally, just because something is mass produced doesn't make it better quality. compare any backyard chicken egg to what you buy in a large chain store...and speaking of which, look at the quality of merchandise available in the "economy of scale" store that is walmart.

If consumers prefer the backyard chicken eggs, they will pay for

them.

Problems solved.

Its called "free market". Maybe you've heard of it?

Get out there and tell consumers why your eggs are better and worth paying a higher price for. If you convince them you will get your higher price. Again, problem solved.

You, my friend, definitely "get it"

Yes, you are so right about the larger scale operations in relation to lack of quality. And if anyone would enjoy an entertaining book that focuses on what you are saying, I highly recommend Joel Salatin's "Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal".

The book really focuses on this subject and gives an inside look at the struggle that brought on by the USDA. It also shows how the gov't now owns the term "organic" and we all know what happens when they get involved...right? :)

I'd have to disagree with you jetmba

I live in rural Iowa and I see a lot of small farms still making it without gov't subsidies. Most of the ag subsidies are received by the larger corporate farms and ethanol plants. In fact, the largest corporate farms receive free crop insurance while the small farm foots the bill. There is still a lot of pride here in Iowa, although it has been much tougher for the small farm to make it.

The niche markets are having a tough time and something huge will have to change to help them continue. Buying the term "organic" is not cost effective for most small farms and the huge crackdown on "real" milk continues to hinder production. Monsanto / Big Ag / Big Dairy / USDA is continuing their takeover and our elected representatives aid them in every way possible.

This article is not intended to sway you to believing that gov't subsidies will save the farm, it's to make people aware that there is a war going on and it's small farm vs. Monsanto, Big Ag, Big Dairy, and Big Brother. The small farmer doesn't want a handout, they want freedom, just like you and I. Freedom will save the farm.

We're totally on the same page...

My husband does AI on farms in Wisconsin and NE Iowa and he totally agrees with your take on things. He grew up on a family dairy farm, went to college where he got a degree in agriculture, and has been working his entire adult life in the dairy business (20+ years). He's seen the takeover of the giants - and it saddens him to no end! And on a side note to the economic stuff - he also can't stand the direction these corporate farms have gone in the way the cattle are treated. These poor animals are getting shots (hormones) for everything! He said it's like they're nothing more than big pin cushions; he absolutely loathes it. When he was growing up, the cows in his family's 40-cow herd all had names and each one was treated with respect!

When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: Liberty, sir, was the primary object. - Patrick Henry

Bottom Line: Do I have to subsidise you so that you can succeed?

If the answer is YES - then you don't make it.

If you can succeed with a family farm and I don't have to subsidise you, then why are we even having this conversation?

NO SUBSIDIES TO MONSANTO, TYSON OR ANYBODY!

And if, with a small family farm, you can beat economies of scale - then you are my personal hero.

Yes, I've seen what you are describing first hand

I watched a small local dairy sell out after not being able to keep up (Big Dairy took them out....if you're not selling in extreme bulk...well, you're screwed). The cows were sold to a 5,000+ head dairy and I'll guarantee that the cows will never be treated the same.

And I agree with the statement you made about being pin cushions...couldn't be more true!
They receive hormones for darn near everything:
Hormones to start estrus
Hormones to abort pregnancy
Hormones to induce milk flow
Hormones to help with ovarian cysts
Hormones to help pass the placenta after calving (same hormone for milk flow)
People raise such an awareness about growth hormones, but I guess they don't realize that it's just the tip of the iceberg!

So sad, I hope that anyone that has access to "real" milk utilizes it. You're supporting much more than your small farmer.

Actually, the truth is

that it's the big agribusiness which is gov't subsidized in order to destroy the small farms.

Remove the subsidies, and watch big agribusiness die.

sharkhearted's picture

You damn well hit the nail on the head with that one for sure!

~Chris
Norfolk, VA

~Chris
Norfolk, VA

Time to INVESTIGATE the investigators of 9/11. PROSECUTE the prosecutors. EXPOSE the cover-up.

Thank you BigT

You nailed it.

Thank you, glory

for having the gumption to post this in an election cycle.

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

There is a fix coming, but might be worse

And it will not be pretty, but will defeat the corporatism, fascism movement. Peak Oil will wipe out agri-business, remove the ability of govt for surveillance and control. Centralized anything will no longer have the energy inputs to continue to operate.

Was it

Rockefeller who said " control the food and you control the people"??