President Kennedy identified a few of the factors that would quickly drive family farmers into a serfdom state where they controlled nothing and made almost nothing in return as they followed the USDA’s mantra, Get Big or Get Out. For the most part, they Got Out, or their children did as the agri-corps took control. I saw this in my own family as my uncles left Fair View Dairy and went to work in the refineries. But you are here as the worm is turning. Real farmers are emerging from three different directions. Aging conventional farmers are finding a new spark as they return to sustainable farming practices in their semi-retirement stage. City dwellers who have a bit of land in the country are turning a hobby into a second career. Young people are finding that the same philosophy is not only one they can embrace as a career, but also as a dignified and fulfilling lifestyle.
I have seen all of these examples within my limited geographical sphere known as the Brazos Valley region of southeast Texas, and the numbers grow annually. I am now convinced as I was not at first that this trend is not just sustainable - it is unstoppable. We are all a lot smarter about the necessity of putting good, clean food into our bodies and minds while simultaneously cleaning up the planet and bringing humanity back to our fellow creatures. This “trend” will become mainstream in our lifetime. What’s not to like about that? Good for the farmer, good for the planet, and good for you.