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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Tue Jun 18, 2019, 01:29 AM

2. As the last in a line of a multiple generations of farmers, this does not match my reality.

Our family farm will be sold when my parents die - neither my brother nor I will continue it (and even if we were inclined, we are both in our 60s, and live 1000 & 1500 miles away, respectively). That said, our family (including cousins) ran several family farms - alone, or (in my father's case) with other members of the same extended family. My cousins still farm my grandfather's home place.

At least where I grew up, although each family largely operated independently - there was plenth of collaboration. Large equipment that was needed once a year (planting and harvesting) was sometimes shared. Crews were definitely shared. Different farms were ready to plant or harvest at different times. Family and neighboring farms evaluate whose crops needed to be tended to first, and they all worked as a team to get the work done on each person's farm. My chief job was chief cook and bottle washer - and when there were work crews, that meant making enough field-ready food to serve the crew when they were working on our farm.

But - the collaboration tended to be among groups of perhaps 5 farms (not the nearly 100 people cited in the articles).

My father (now in his 80s) finally has the time to make his farm more efficient - so he has sectioned his pasture land into small enough sections so that the cattle can completely graze each section before moving on to the rest - doubling the efficiency of the pastureland. That was a luxury he could not afford when he was doing the backbreaking work of day-to-day farming.

And - as my mother always said - my father dosn't gamble (in any traditional sense). We come from a faith tradition that bans gambling. But farming (and crop/livestock futures) are his means of gambling.

I am not at all arguing that family farming is monumentally hard. But the article seems to be urging community (i.e on a scale approaching 100) owned farming. That is unnecessary - and dimniishes the benfeit to the community that comes from being comprised of an equivalent number of smaller family-owned businesses (farms).

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