Monday, May 7, 2012

Farming is quickly becoming a dangerous occupation

Who would have thought that farming, the production of good quality food, is becoming a dangerous occupation. Not from the risk of machinery, long hours of physical labor, or other real risks.... no, the danger today seems to be the government.  Like clockwork every month this year we find a news story of yet another farm raided, another farmer handcuffed, armed police seizing food, threats of jail time, etc etc.   One must sit back and ask the question ... what is going on?

here's the latest news story:

As a farmer, this is more than a little concerning. How far will this growing movement go? Will farmers end up jailed, put out of business, harassed, fined, etc for doing their job? You might say  wait... there must be some violation of regulations here for this to be happening.  The odd thing is... its predominately SMALL farmers being scrutinized, now big ag.  When is hte last time you heard of a large farm operation being raided with guns ? How about last year when egg quality in a large processing plant threw consumers in the hospital all over the nation? How about the constant news articles of one type of food poisoning or another from foods produced in factory farms?  It doesn't happen. Only small family farms are targeted, even though the potential for damage to consumers is minuscule compared to large food factories.

All I can say is, as a small farmer we do our best to follow all the regulations, even when they dont make sense. We work hard to increase quality for our customers. We work hard to improve the environment instead of poison it. Perhaps there is an occasional violation here or there of process rules, but nothing to warrant the imbalance of scrutiny we see today. For instance in the farm dinner in las vegas, by invitation only by the way, the violation was one of permits, not food quality. The local authorities came in and poured bleach on the perfectly good food because of permit violations.  These stories go on and on.

Yes, it is a bit scary to be a small farmer, especially one not following the big AG way of doing things, but still our job is not a job, it is a mission. WE are committed to producing the best quality food possible for our customers while wading through the laws and regulations. We take risks every day in many ways, but this truly is a labor of love. For us personally, meeting our customers on the delivery route every other week is one of the most fulfilling and precious moments of our week. Hearing the stories, seeing the benefit that our foods bring, it makes it all worth while. Just as farms are being "attacked" each month, so are consumers waking up to the reality that we need small farms producing healthy local food. They need it personally to meet dietary guidelines for their family's health.

We have come to realize that many of our customers rely on us in a similar way to doctors. We provide a product that allows them to heal, a product that can not be purchased from factory farms. If we don't produce this food people will suffer. There are not nearly enough small farms around to supply the growing need and awareness.  That is a sobering thought that motivates us to our very soul. This is a mission, not a job.

I'd like to give a heartfelt thanks to all of our customers for supporting us. Each of you are as valuable as our own family.

1 comment:

  1. Big Ag is in bed w/ the government, that's why we, the small farmers are being raided! Big Ag has the $$ to 'buy' a politician....sorry, but it's true.