Many years ago when I lived in a community far from the modern day farms (there were still several old-time small family farms where I grew up), I believed all the praise we were to bestow upon the farmer was warranted. Back then I would have naively agreed our farmers were number one, that whatever support they needed, we should give.
I was so naïve, so uneducated, so…wrong.
Or maybe forty years ago they did deserve it. Farming was less industrialized, less invasive to the environment and smaller in scale.
Since moving into farm country where large, industrial farms are the norm, however, I don’t think that way anymore. After reading about one bad practice after another performed on local and far away farms, my opinion has changed. After witnessing one stupid move after another, my opinion about farmers is far from generous.
So when I read Cliff Seruntuine’s post “Thank a Farmer? What Kind is Important,” it struck the chord playing in my head for about ten years. I’ve seen those cute little memes, image slogans, on the Internet, mostly on Facebook, and each time I read them, I thought, “Don’t thank every farmer. They don’t all deserve it.”
But the majority of the population won’t learn what I’ve learned because they live in cities, far away from industrial farming. They have no time to learn what I’ve learned either through first-hand experience or through research. They happily pick up their groceries at the store, be it grocery chain or department store, and think nothing about where their food came from. They may drive through the countryside on Sundays in summer and point to the black and white animal in the field and say, “I think that’s a cow.” These are the same folks who will see a goat at an exhibition, point to the wattles and tell their young children, “That’s where the milk comes from.”
Don’t laugh; this happened this past summer. Okay…you can laugh. We did.