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Recently, when I attended a meeting of the local Missouri Farm Bureau chapter, of whom I am a member, but whose policies I frequently do not agree with, I asked the assembly: Is there anybody here who doesn't live downstream or downwind of somebody else? Of course,nobody could respond in the affirmative and so I said , which environmental rules in particular do we not like when it comes to pesticide and fertilizer application, to run-off control etc.? Be careful what you wish for! It is easy to denigrate these kinds of rules, but when somebody , either intentionally or negligently, violates these rules and damage occurs, then we are suddenly reminded how important it is, that we have a common understanding what a good neighbor is. And since we all live downstream or downwind from other land owners,business and farm operators, even when they are many miles away , observance of environmental rules has a big impact .
By the way, can anyone tell me, why in this time of low commodity prices it makes any sense when bulldozers are tearing down entire hedges and flattening hills to produce more and accommodate ever bigger machines as I saw again the other day?

Wes Lupher says 2017-04-27 10:20:23 (CST)

I have more than a few friends who farm for a living. They do farm some bigger acreages than their father and grandfather, but they are still a family farm. Not at all the dreaded corporate farm.
In looking at one of the farms in Nebraska I couldn't help but notice he farmed a bunch of homesteads with the old run down farm houses and buildings on them. The story was the same over and over. Dad gets old, no kids interested in farming and the humble lifestyle it is or was. Farm is either sold or rented out. My friend rents several of these homesteads from the kids and grandkids of farmers. None of the offspring is interested in doing any farming because of the work and the modest income.
As far as the political side of this discussion, I'm not terribly proud of how our two party system looked last election. The part of it that really is unsavory is the candidates we had to choose from in my opinion. Enough said on that.
As a person from a very rural and politically insignificant state I have to say the electoral college is the only voice we have.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Klaus Karbaumer says 2017-04-28 11:53:11 (CST)

Wes, you are pointing correctly to one of the reasons why farms are getting bigger to one of the reasons, heirs to farmers often do not want to farm. So other farmers take over and increase their own farm. But unfortunately along with that often comes bigger machinery and the mechanisms of wanting to make the land "machine adequate". And since such big operations usually specialize on one or two commodities, they invariably add to the already existing surplus production. As I have tried often to show here on the Front Porch, the "invisible hand of the market" driven by self-interest of the individual, as Adam Smith envisioned, works against farmers big way. Right now we have a glut of almost everything on the world market, grains, meat and milk, they all struggle with depressed prices due to overproduction. The reason that 's often given, so many hungry people in the world, to justify such huge production, doesn't help the producer of agricultural commodities, because these hungry people could only buy our surplus production, if they had the money to do so.
( Set aside the other problem, that if we flood these markets with our goods, we severely impair local food production there). If people like your friend in sufficient numbers did not jump into the production, prices could have a chance to improve. Too many farms have a negative net income despite the generous help of the government. The funny thing is that especially in rural areas which receive these subsidies, the battle cry against the hand outs of the government to poor people is ringing the loudest.
Right now, due to the winner take all system and gerrrymandering rural areas are actually overrepresented in our political system, the Electoral College just adds to that, as the last elections have shown, where the majority of votes didn't not result in the picking of the president nor the actual majority in the House. But , again unfortunately, the people of the rural areas don't really profit from that, because as we see those representing them, seem to have more the interests of BIG AG ( meaning ag corporations) in mind, than for example the interests of small farms and the people who live and work on them.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

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