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Recently the Missouri Farm Bureau of whom I am a members asked us for input in certain topics and allowed comment space for policy recommendations.
I'd like to share with the Front Porch Visitors what I wrote:
" As a Missouri farmer I appreciate the MFB's efforts and institutions to help improve living and business conditions. That doesn't necessarily imply that I applaud all suggested policies.
In particular, as an organic farmer and vegetable producer it troubles me that MFB's president, Mr. Hurst, makes himself more a mouthpiece of the chemical Ag-industry than the real interests of farmers. The kind of farming that he is defending, namely the mono-cultural row cropping system, is despite best intentions of many not only hurting the environment, consumers' and farmers' health, but also the farmers' pocket books, because it has consistently driven them into competition with each other by producing surpluses and thereby reducing prices. When farmers today are commended that in ever bigger operations, which were enabled by the application of chemicals, they are producing food for ever larger numbers of consumers, they should also be reminded that the curve of so-called increased efficiency can be read differently: It takes more and more consumers to make one farm operation viable since the profit margins are shrinking continuously.
My recommendations for the MFB are:
1) Discuss honestly, what past and present policies have really supported the family farm, even small ones, or competition with the end result of the last man standing in the long run.
2) include so-called "alternative " farms in your decision making.
3)Consider the serious possibility, that the high capital-intensive, fossil-fuel powered agriculture with its dependency on purchased artificial fertilizers and pesticides may not last very long any more after it has become clear that oil is a finite source of energy and not replaceable by anything else.
4) Resist the temptation to speak for the short term interests of a form of agriculture which will not survive any real shortage of oil, and look ahead into the future.
5) Be mindful of the fact, that farmers are a very small minority nowadays and cannot continue to stubbornly cling to concepts which make them an even smaller minority( see point 1). "

There you have it. We all have a responsibility in shaping our and our successors' future by what we say, do and demand. I'll continue that discussion about a different topic concerning our ' RURAL HERITAGE' soon.

JFox N Central NE says 2016-07-26 15:16:36 (CST)

Very well stated! I hope that you get some positive response from them.


2 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Redgate says 2016-07-28 15:31:25 (CST)

Your point about considering alternative farms is a good one, that I would suggest you expound on. To give you an example, we did not qualify for FB insurance because we weren't a "row crop farm nor a beef farm." Despite the fact we have a full time business raising grass based beef, chicken, eggs, turkey, duck, rabbit, and forest hogs, as well as using draft horse power, providing miscellaneous horse-carriage services, logging, lumber milling, giving farm tours, and farm-related classes, as well as supplying produce through a small CSA program, we were told we did not fit into their "box" to check off. They never even returned our calls after that. Seemed awfully strange that a company "dedicated" to farmers wouldn't even talk to us because we essentially weren't a big-ag mono-culture farm.

2 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Klaus Karbaumer says 2016-07-29 14:47:58 (CST)

Danielle, we have Farm Bureau insurance for our " alternative" horse-powered farm. Obviously they handle that differently in different states.
By 'alternative' I meant exactly what you stated - no row-crop farm, even though I also grow our potatoes, tomatoes, beets etc. in rows. These guys have come to a very narrow definition of farms.

2 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Ralph in N.E.Oh says 2016-07-30 20:23:58 (CST)

Klaus, great points that you make. I hope they listen.

I too tried insurance through our FB. The quote amounted to over two hundred dollars more for the same coverage of my current insurance, plus the price of membership. It felt like a scam to me.

I realize that FB gives farmers a voice...I just hope they listen to me, before they speak for me.

2 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

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