US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently reported that the population in rural America declined by 16 percent. Virginia farmer and educator Joel Salatin sat in the meeting where this was announced and where the Obama administration claimed the importance of changing that figure.
Salatin asks, “what could the US Secretary of Agriculture, at the highest strategic planning sessions of our land, be challenged by other leaders to change this figure, to get more people in rural America, to encourage farming and help more farms get started? Could it be for better food? Better soil development? Better care for animals? Better care for plants?”
“Here’s his answer: although rural America only has 16 percent of the population, it gives 40 percent of the personnel to the military. Say what? You mean when it’s all said and done, at the end of the day, the bottom line–you know all the cliches–the whole reason for increasing farms is to provide cannon fodder for American imperial might. He said rural kids grow up with a sense of wanting to give something back, and if we lose that value system, we’ll lose our military might.”
Motivated by the disheartening agenda of Obama, Salatin promises to redouble his efforts to help folks remember why we need more farmers. “It’s not to provide cannon fodder for Wall Street imperialistic agendas. It’s to grow food that nourishes, land that’s aesthetically and aromatically sensually romantic, build soil, hydrate raped landscapes, and convert more solar energy into biomass than nature would in a static state.”
I don’t about making land sexy but I agree we need more family farms producing better food than is ever possible from factory farms. After all, economically independent family farming is the American dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, at least as far as Thomas Jefferson was concerned.
Source: The Cornucopia Institute, August 18, 2013.