Filed under: Farmer Stories, Food + Health, J500 Week 7 | Tags: corporations taking over farming industry, dangers of industrial farming, farming for profits, old trend of family farming, saving family farming, technology improvements force family farming to diminish
I have relatives who have farms in Iowa. They have always been a part of our family’s traditions. It was a tradition for me, my sister and my cousin to go visit one of the farms, and spend a weekend riding horses. On the other farm, we always used to have family reunions down there. It has been an important part of my family, almost like a bonding experience. It is a way for us to all come together.
My first instinct of the quote “Farming is for the rich and the desperate” was that it was untrue. I say this because farming, from my experiences at least, seems to be more like a family practice. A lot of the farmers I know have been farmers because the farm has been in the family for awhile, and they want to keep it going. They do it because they want to, and it’s something they enjoy. They are average-day citizens, and many of them don’t have a ton of money.
It also didn’t make sense to me that rich people would farm because they are desperate; I don’t even know what they would be desperate for. If they are desperate to say they grow their own food, I think they would opt out for paying someone else to grow their own food for them.
However, after thinking about it for awhile, I realize that my philosophy is old fashioned. As technology has improved, big corporations are starting to take over the farming industry, and now own a majority of the industry. As a result, many of the family farms are going out of business.
I can understand how now the trend is that “farming IS for the rich and the desperate.” The only thing the corporations care about are the profits, so they produce much more than the average family farmer does. And because of this, their profits do increase, but at what expense? Farm Sanctuary says that the industrial farming techniques harm animals, humans, and the environment.
So is it too late to change these practices? Some think the only way to produce enough for everybody is through industrial/corporation farming. Others think that the local food trend is just starting to take off, and it will become strong enough to save family farming. The Sustainable Table website I mentioned earlier describes these beliefs. They mention ways in which you can help save these family farms.
Personally, I don’t think family farms can last much longer. The farming corporations obviously have a large impact on the farming industry, and I think they will eventually take it all over, or almost all of it. People are concerned about money these days, and I think the major corporations will do whatever it takes to get that. In addition, I don’t think the amount of food family farms can produce is enough to feed everyone. Unfortunately it’s sad, but it’s reality.
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