Saturday, August 4, 2012

advocates for farming

Maybe a person wonders why farmers might need advocates. Farmers grow many things and the variety of growing methods is wide. We could never grow citrus here, and yet there are farms that grow acres and acres of it. We don't grow grapes or hops and yet there are many acres in this country dedicated to each.

We do grow a few things. There are a few we would like to add. One of the parameters set in our state agriculture guidelines is a provision for raw milk. There are permits issued here for farmers to produce and distribute raw milk. And yet in bordering states raw milk is illegal. There is a provision for a single cow dairy, where the rules are different.

These seemingly small things, and many others like them, mean that a family farm can be in business and stay in business. Lots of food comes from big growers, big manufacturers who take food like substances and process it and put it into bright packaging and launch big budget ad campaigns to create demand. That is not what we do. Our food is straightforward and in plain packaging.

So why farm advocates? We cannot make this meeting, as we are busy with the business of farming. August into September are tough months for farmers: it is hot, the yellow jackets arrive, long work days begin to catch up with everyone, unrelenting work that appears simple but has nuances that are not understood by most cause frustration when misunderstood.

So farm advocates? Those who do not do the year round, I've got to make certain everything has water without breaking key components of the watering system, I've got to budget so the feed supplier can be paid, I've got to make certain that beds are cleared and replanted so there is plenty to fill the box...and the myriad other details that make or break a farmer (tools put away, pens properly secured, lids replaced, systems of efficiency learned and honored so that routine farm chores happen quickly) those advocates make a huge difference in a farmers life. We thank you, we encourage you, we applaud you and we wish we could help. For a few weeks in December, January and February we are available!

If you can help, please attend! Food eaters need advocates. It is our choice not to eat the food like substances advertised and promoted in all types of media, and we appreciate any help we get to have the right to do so. Go farm advocates! Thanks PASA and FarmAid!

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