Farms should be producers, not consumers.
Seems self evident, right? Well... During the show I spoke with many people, perhaps hundreds, mostly farmers of some size. Yet, that one simple phrase drew first blank stares, followed by almost instant recognition of the meaning of life. Yea, to a farmer seeking his reason to exist in the world, that praise embodies the meaning of life... "Producers, not consumers".
Farms have somehow become consumers... Often consuming more than they produce. Feed comes into the farm from outside, the bulk of the profits generated pass right along as payment for feed, and then the farmer spends his days trying to make back enough to buy his own food to eat.
That is just wrong!
Farms should be that magical place where raw materials combine with sun and water, to produce life from the laws of nature carefully managed by the magician, the farmer. The proper inputs into a farm are the raw energy of the earth and sun, and the farmers ingenuity. The energy from the sun is thereby harassed to create food and fiber for the world. That is how it is supposed to work.
What went wrong? In a word.. specialization. Farmers have bought into the notion that everything is better specialized. Do one thing, do it very well, and make money on effeciency of that one thing. Perhaps that works in a factory, but NOT in nature! And a farm, life itself, is based on nature.
In nature there is not independent specialization, instead there is balanced codependency. Everything relies on other elements to succeed. This is true within all biological systems, across species, across disciplines, and across the environment. Anything alone or in excess is a negative! No matter how good it is, it's goodness is measured by its balance to the rest of life.
One could say that this is rooted in the theory of evolution, which teaches slow progress through singular specialized changes. But nature does not work that way. In nature, most things could not exist before other things existed. It's not a ladder of progression, it is a circle of dependency that requires a moment of creation to begin.
On a farm, the farmer is responsible for managing his little plot of earth, entrusted to him by the creator, to produce, not consume. The goal then, is for the farm to export way more than it imports. If the export - import balance is equal, that is not nearly enough... The farm is not creating, but changing one thing into another. Only when the farm exports much more than it Imports is it creating! Only then is the farm turning raw material of sin, water, and earth into food and fiber through nature's biology.
Profit comes from value. Create value and there will be profit. The more value, the more profit.
Value comes from the extent of change from import to export. The more change, the more value and therefore the more profit.
It is one level to go from commercial chicken feed or hog feed to eatable chicken or pork. But for the most part, that is not creating, but only changing. Changing animal feed into human food. Farms consume animal feed to offer human food. Not much profit because not much change...
But if a farm takes sun, earth, water, labor and produces human food... Now we have something! No man made imports, human food exports. That is the magic of the farm.... The calling of a farmer, and the basis of farm profit.
So, it is easy to see how "farms should produce, not consume" expresses the meaning and secret of life for a farmer!
And that is what we are committed to at little sprouts... Showing farms how we have been able to create human food in the form of meat, from sun, water, soil, and labor. Ideally, a farm should only buy the tools they can not build, and nothing else. The most obvious change is, stop buying feed!
Produce, not consume.... That is the secret... Sell instead of buy, create instead of change. Let's make our farms the center of creation, exporting life sustanance from the most basic raw materials.
Produce, not consume!
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