Facts, Not Fiction

 
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    tough times for small American farmers
    #1
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    not much to be thankful for in some parts of the country :-(

    https://time.com/5736789/small-ameri...M-alB-JS1rbH2o
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    #2
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    What's happening now in the Midwest happened a generation ago in California's Central Valley. Now the only surviving small farms are those that grow boutique food items to sell to fancy restaurants and gourmet food stores.
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    #3
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    While some small farms continue in the south, they have all but been replaced by corporate farms. I fully appreciate the economies of scale of larger outfits, and their ability to be more profitable. Nevertheless, I miss the rugged romance that comes from people who work the land by themselves.

    I spent a lot of time back in the sixties with my grandparents on a small 65 acre farm. My grandfather still used horses or mules to pull his plow, and only in his later years transitioned to an ancient tractor. It was like growing up in a working museum.
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    #4
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    A lot of it is Americans don't drink milk like they use to. Which is why Dean's Food declared bankruptcy...they are the country's biggest milk company...and dairy farmers are dying...

    Sam Dean, the founder's son and later company president, lived just down the street from us when I grew up... we knew Sam and his wife Dorothy well...very pleasant...
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    #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gh View Post
    not much to be thankful for in some parts of the country :-(
    That's only true if one focuses on the finances of running an inefficient operation.

    Buried in the article:
    Global food production has increased 30 percent over the last decade.
    Many millions of people should be thankful for that, and, as evidenced by the reduced income to the small farms, those farms have contributed nothing to that increase in production.
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    #6
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    From the NY Times:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/27/n...catskills.html

    Headline: After 240 Years and 7 Generations, Forced to Sell the Family Farm

    The farm in question is in the upper Catskills, two hours north of NYC.
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    #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tandfman View Post
    From the NY Times:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/27/n...catskills.html

    Headline: After 240 Years and 7 Generations, Forced to Sell the Family Farm

    The farm in question is in the upper Catskills, two hours north of NYC.
    Since this is behind a paywall, I don't how NYT spun this, but the couple have been trying to sell this farm for over five years, and nobody wants it.

    https://upstatehouse.com/small-farm-syndrome/

    The description of the farm as a 300-acre subsistence farm makes it clear that there's no loss in taking it out of production. The kids are gone, so it's not a family farm. It can't be part of a soil bank, because the soil is too poor. The couple has been trying to repurpose the land for 30 years, with little success.

    In round numbers, from what I have read, when this country was founded, 75% of the population was in agriculture (3 people fed themselves, plus 1). In the Civil War era, the number was 50% (1 fed themself, plus 1 other). Today the number is about 3% (1 person feeds 30 others). I call that progress.

    When a family tries to survive by feeding not many more than themselves, the outcome is inevitable.
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    #8
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    The Times article is rather vague on details....
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    #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master403 View Post
    Since this is behind a paywall, I don't how NYT spun this, but the couple have been trying to sell this farm for over five years, and nobody wants it.
    Here's a story that's based on the NYT story, but is not behind a paywall.

    https://wrrv.com/ny-family-forced-to...7-generations/
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    #10
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    lots of bailout money going to places other than the family farm: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/201...ampaign=recent
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