Filed under: Energy + Climate, Society + Media | Tags: climate change, family farms, finanical, Kansas, pin, politicized, sustainability
Rick works construction all day, then works in his field at night. He’d rather just be a farmer; it’s all he’s ever wanted to be. But like the other family farmers I interviewed, these days you can’t feed the kids on just farming.
Many family farms balance on the head of a financial pin. The weather, grain prices and fuel costs can throw off their balance in one season. It’s a hard life that can be as unforgiving and unpredictable as Mother Nature, because, financially, it’s at her mercy.
So don’t tell a farmer he doesn’t care about the environment. Don’t tell her the climate could have a big impact on her livelihood. Don’t tell him that he needs to connect with the needs of nature.
They know it all too well. They say instead of pointing a finger, give them a little credit, a little information and a little more support. Give them a reason to trust, especially in this heavily politicized world. One farmer told me she doesn’t talk politics with friends. And she doesn’t talk global warming, either. It’s a good way to lose friends. It’s impolite.
Changing to sustainable practices such as no-till, wind farming or methane management isn’t cheap. So tell me: how do we sustain the family farm in our push for sustainability? How do we help them feed their kids and save the world on the head of a pin?
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