We could all name names. Good farms that have no one waiting in the wings to take over the business. Farmers whose sons and daughters have chosen other careers. It’s not an indictment on the farm’s owners, nor the sons and daughters; it’s just a plain fact. Many current farmers don’t have a successor. And […]
(Part II of II) Have you ever tried to sit on a three-legged stool that had one leg shorter than the other two, or was missing a leg? It’s a balancing act that’s not very easy and you can’t do it for very long. So it is with working toward sustainable agriculture. You can’t focus […]
(Part I of II) What does it really mean to farm sustainably? To be committed to agricultural sustainability? Ask 10 people and you’ll get 10 answers — some of them vigorously in opposition to other answers. There is, however, agreement that sustainability in agriculture is essential for the planet’s health and future — to our […]
An amazing thing happened last week while you were busy milking, feeding, repairing, resting or doing whatever other chores keep farmers busy in bleak midwinter. An army of “agvocates” — farm advocates — were on their computers creating a ruckus on your behalf. And it was an online vocal maelstrom that spread like wildlife, finding […]
Farmers often harbor insecurities when plopped in a room with bankers or small business owners or lawyers. Too often, farmers feel like they don’t belong in that crowd, like their chosen profession is somehow less important or worthy than the others’. They couldn’t be more wrong.
Does your state (county, borough, village, township, fill in the blank) like its farms? Does it realize the economic impact of agriculture? Is there a welcome mat out for new farms? Do the powers that be understand the value of green space, of a “viewshed,” that a farm contributes? Or is agriculture snubbed and ignored […]
Now is the time for agriculture to communicate its advantages, as well as re-evaluate its traditions.
Top food trends of 2010: The last time I checked, farming had something to do with food, so I wanted to know what was tapped to be “hot” this year, and whether or not farmers could benefit.
(Note: This column first appeared in Farm and Dairy 16 years ago. I offer it here again this year, because its message never dims. Merry Christmas to all.) If you walked by Edith Troyer’s third grade class at Walnut Creek Elementary School during December, it wasn’t unusual to hear voices of the young students singing […]
When Thomas Paine wrote those famous words, he inspired Americans to continue their battle for independence from England. The late 1700s were certainly a different time than today, but the quote speaks to many of us in agriculture right now. These are the times that try men’s souls. Farming in 2009 has been enough to […]