Below are a couple of my comments to The Globe and Mail, Canada's leading national newspaper. They had the cheek to do a week long series on food and agriculture by so called experts, most of whom have never worked for their "Daily Bread" much less know how to grow it!
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I have been ranching/farming man and boy for 40 plus year. I have farmed organically ( the worlds term, not mine) and have worked within the bounds of the natural order, building soil and organic mater thus increasing my lands fertility and real worth over time and at the same time produced healthy crops and livestock to feed mankind.Modern agriculture revolves around an annual ledger so to keep banks and bean counters happy most farmers have turned to science and industrial farming practices. This works in the short term, but over time depletes that other bank account, the soils fertility. Poor soil produces low yields and worse, stressed crops or livestock which become diseased easier, causing the need for more inputs, chemical and medicinal, an expensive, harsh cycle.
We humans are always after the quick fix, we lack vision but most of all understanding and patience.When we all accept we are part of nature and this planet and not the ones in control of it we will see we can feed and cloth ourselves with out all the chemical and scientific intervention deemed so important by none other than those that make profit from supplying them.
My comment on 1st November to opinion in Globe and Mail calling for the scraping of dairy and chicken quotas, by ‘wealthy bureaucrat’ Ray McLaren.
9:48 AM on November 1, 2010
As a red meat producer in this country for 25 years ( beef and lamb) it never stops amazing me how many 'experts' know so much about how farmers and ranchers could do better for them selves and the public by adopting free market ways. This while they have steady pay cheques and a good pension to collect. These experts have never had to make a living and feed their family by growing food. We are now getting the same price per pound for animals that we were 20 years ago, then by the time you factor in inflation we are getting half what we were 20 years ago. In fact Belize a young country in Central America is getting the same price we are for lambs and beef cattle with a third the production costs with year round grass and no winter. The free market farmers in this country are subsidizing your lunch Mr McLaren. We can all live with out cheap imported goods from factories, but food, much like water and oxygen is essential. Remember if you eat you are involved in Agriculture, so while you eat your meat today remember some one raised it for you who does not have an index linked salary or pension plan and would be glad of the chance to have a living wage supplied by the market place like the dairy and egg producers.